Efficacy of Liraglutide in Non-Diabetic Obese Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Joshuan J. Barboza*, Mariella R. Huamán, Beatriz Melgar, Carlos Diaz-Arocutipa, German Valenzuela-Rodriguez, Adrian V. Hernandez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: We systematically assessed the efficacy of liraglutide in non-diabetic obese adults. Methods: Six databases were searched up to July 2021 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing liraglutide versus placebo in obese adults. Primary outcomes were body weight and body mass index (BMI). Secondary outcomes were treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), hypoglycemic episodes, HbA1c, and blood pressure. Effect measures were risk ratio (RR) or mean difference (MD) with their confidence interval (95%CI). Random-effects models and inverse variance meta-analyses were used. Quality of evidence was assessed using GRADE. Results: Twelve RCTs (n = 8249) were included. In comparison to placebo, liraglutide reduced body weight (MD −3.35 kg; 95%CI −4.65 to −2.05; p < 0.0001), and BMI (MD −1.45 kg/m2; 95%CI −1.98 to −0.91; p < 0.0001). Liraglutide did not reduce TEAEs (RR 1.08; 95%CI 0.92 to 1.27; p = 0.25), and Hb1Ac (MD −0.76%; 95%CI −2.24 to 0.72; p = 0.31). Furthermore, it did not increase hypoglycemic episodes (RR 2.01; 95%CI 0.37 to 11.02; p = 0.28). Finally, liraglutide reduced systolic blood pressure (MD −3.07 mmHg; 95%CI −3.66 to −2.48; p < 0.0001) and diastolic blood pressure (MD −1.01 mmHg; 95%CI −1.55 to −0.47; p = 0.0003). Seven RCTs had a high risk of bias. Subgroup analyses by length of treatment and doses had effects similar to the overall analyses. Quality of evidence was low or very low for most outcomes. Conclusions: In non-diabetic obese adults, liraglutide reduced body weight, BMI and blood pressure in comparison to placebo. Adverse events, Hb1Ac levels and hypoglycemic episodes were not different than placebo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2998
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • body weight
  • hypoglycemia
  • liraglutide
  • meta-analysis
  • obesity


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