Rimonabant Shown to Thwart Obesity, Heart Disease

Author: Susan Farley

Scientists at University Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, conducted a trial of the drug rimonabant and found that, along with a calorie-controlled diet, it helped people lose more weight than placebo. The yearlong trial originally included 1507 obese Europeans and Americans, and 920 people completed the trial. Participants received either 5 or 20 mg of rimonabant or a placebo. Among those taking 20 mg of rimonabant, 67% lost at least 5% of their body weight and 39% lost 10% of their weight by the end of the year. They also were more likely to have reduced waist sizes, as well as fewer risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. The pattern of weight loss seen with rimonabant was sustained for around 36 to 40 weeks. Professor Luc Van Gaal of University Hospital Antwerp, concluded: "In this study, treatment with rimonabant over 1 year led to sustained, clinically meaningful weight loss, reduction in waist circumference, and associated improvements in several cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors."

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.