A new weight loss medication may help to lower blood pressure in obese adults.
Researchers found that the weight loss medication tirzepatide “significantly” lowered the systolic blood pressure of nearly 500 severely overweight adults.
Systolic blood pressure, or the top number in the blood pressure reading, is a stronger predictor for cardiovascular death than diastolic, or bottom number, blood pressure.
Tirzepatide works by mimicking two metabolic hormones in the body that stimulate insulin secretion and sensitivity after a person eats.
This has been found so far to help regulate the body’s blood sugar levels, slow down digestion and reduce appetite, which makes a person feel fuller and eat less, leading to weight loss.
To get their results, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, the researchers studied 600 participants who received either a placebo or a dose of tirzepatide in one of three strengths for eight months.
Around one in three of the participants reported they had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study and were taking one or more hypertension medications.
A blood pressure monitor took their measurements every half an hour in the day and every hour at night.
Results showed that participants taking 5 mg of tirzepatide had an average systolic blood pressure reduction of 7.4 mm Hg, participants taking 10 mg had an average systolic blood pressure reduction of 10.6 mm Hg, and participants taking 15 mg had an average systolic blood pressure reduction of 8.0 mm Hg.
The blood-pressure-lowering effects of tirzepatide were evident in blood pressure measures taken during both the day and night.
It also found that those with overweight or obesity had a mean weight loss of 15% for 5mg, 19.5% for 10mg, and 20.9% for 15mg.
Lead study author Professor James A. de Lemos from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said: “Our findings indicate treating obesity with the weight loss medication tirzepatide may be an effective strategy for preventing or treating high blood pressure.
“Although tirzepatide has been studied as a weight loss medication, the blood pressure reduction in our patients in this study was impressive.
“While it is not known if the impact on blood pressure was due to the medication or the participants’ weight loss, the lower blood pressure measures seen with tirzepatide rivaled what is seen for many hypertension medications.”
The team notes that more research is required to further back up their findings and eliminate other contributing factors such as diet.
Dr. Michael E. Hall from the University of Mississippi Medical Centre added: “Overall, these data are encouraging that novel weight-loss medications are effective at reducing body weight and they are also effective at improving many of the cardiometabolic complications of obesity including hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia, among others.
“Additional studies will be necessary to determine the long-term impact on cardiovascular events such as heart attack and heart failure.
“Also, studies are needed to investigate what happens to blood pressure when medications like tirzepatide are discontinued – does the blood pressure rebound and go back up, or does it remain lowered?”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker