University of Leicester
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Design and Baseline Characteristics of STEP-HFpEF Program Evaluating Semaglutide in Patients With Obesity HFpEF Phenotype

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posted on 2023-10-06, 10:48 authored by MN Kosiborod, SZ Abildstrøm, BA Borlaug, J Butler, L Christensen, M Davies, KG Hovingh, DW Kitzman, ML Lindegaard, DV Møller, SJ Shah, MB Treppendahl, S Verma, MC Petrie
Background: The majority of patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have the obesity phenotype, but no therapies specifically targeting obesity in HFpEF exist. Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the design and baseline characteristics of 2 trials of semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, in patients with the obesity HFpEF phenotype: STEP-HFpEF (Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People with obesity and HFpEF; NCT04788511) and STEP-HFpEF DM (Semaglutide Treatment Effect in People with obesity and HFpEF and type 2 diabetes; NCT04916470). Methods: Both STEP-HFpEF and STEP-HFpEF DM are international multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that randomized adults with HFpEF and a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 to once-weekly semaglutide at a dose of 2.4 mg or placebo. Participants were eligible if they had a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≥45%; New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II to IV; a Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ)–Clinical Summary Score (CSS) <90 points; and ≥1 of the following: elevated filling pressures, elevated natriuretic peptides plus structural echocardiographic abnormalities, recent heart failure hospitalization plus ongoing diuretic use, and/or structural abnormalities. The dual primary endpoints are the 52-week change in the KCCQ-CSS and body weight. Results: In STEP-HFpEF and STEP-HFpEF DM (N = 529 and N = 617, respectively), nearly half were women, and most had severe obesity (median body mass index of 37 kg/m2) with typical features of HFpEF (median LVEF of 57%, frequent comorbidities, and elevated natriuretic peptides). Most participants received diuretic agents and renin-angiotensin blockers at baseline, and approximately one-third were on mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor use was rare in STEP-HFpEF but not in STEP HFpEF DM (32%). Patients in both trials had marked symptomatic and functional impairments (KCCQ-CSS ∼59 points, 6-minute walking distance ∼300 m). Conclusions: In total, STEP-HFpEF program randomized 1,146 participants with the obesity phenotype of HFpEF and will determine whether semaglutide improves symptoms, physical limitations, and exercise function in addition to weight loss in this vulnerable group.


Author affiliation

Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

JACC: Heart Failure




8 Pt 1


1000 - 1010


Elsevier BV





Copyright date


Available date


Spatial coverage

United States