2.2. Patients and study design
Clinical effectiveness of liraglutide on weight loss in South Koreans
Medicine (Baltimore), Jan 15, 2021; DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000023780

Data were retrospectively collected for patients with BMI ≥27 who were prescribed liraglutide for obesity treatment between March 23, 2018, and March 31, 2019, at the Seoul Happiness Clinic of Internal Medicine. The exclusion criteria were as follows: age under 18, no baseline exam (body weight and height), or no follow-up data for body weight. The study design is shown in Fig. Fig.1A.1A. For enrolled patients, initial height, weight, BMI, age, sex, and HbA1c data were collected. Patients were recommended to visit the clinic once a month. Patients’ weight, skeletal muscle weight, and fat weight data were collected at liraglutide re-prescription dates closest to 30, 60, 90, and 180 days after the first prescription; measurements were acquired using ACCUNIQ BC380 (SELVAS Healthcare Inc., Daejeon, Korea) as described in previous papers.[16] Final weight loss was measured at the final prescription visit. Changes in body weight, muscle weight, and fat weight during the time period were analyzed. Then the effects of baseline BMI, age, sex, Hemoglobin A1c level, early responders, behavioral characteristics on final weight loss were examined. For BMI, patients were divided into groups 27 ≤ BMI < 30, 30 ≤ BMI < 33, BMI ≥ 33. Age groups were divided into groups under age 30, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, and ≥60. Sex was divided into male and female. Hemoglobin A1c levels were divided into HbA1c up to 5.6 (normal), 5.7 to 6.4 (prediabetes), and over 6.5 (diabetes). Early responders were defined as weight loss in 30 or 60 days after the first prescription, which was compared with weight loss in later time periods and final weight loss. Behavioral characteristics were measured by lifestyle questionnaires, discussed below.

(A) Flow chart of the study. (B) Dose escalation schedule of liraglutide treatment.