Introduction: Improved cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is associated with reduced mortality. Each metabolic equivalent (MET) increase in CRF is associated with 10-25 % improvements in survival. The aim was to explore changes in fitness during weight maintenance with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist liraglutide and/or exercise.

Methods: Women and men with obesity (18-65 years, BMI 32-43 kg/m2) who achieved ≥ 5 % weight loss during an 8-week very low-calorie diet (VLCD) were randomized to (1) liraglutide 3 mg/day (LIRA), (2) exercise 150 min/week + placebo (EX), (3) exercise 150 min/week + liraglutide 3 mg/day (LIRA+EX), or (4) placebo (PLA) for one year. CRF was measured as peak oxygen consumption using indirect calorimetry during an incremental bicycle test. Physical functioning was evaluated as time to ascend/descend an 11-step stairway twice.

Results: A total of 215 participants were included. Changes in fitness after VLCD and 1-year weight maintenance program are presented in Table 1.

Conclusion: Exercise alone and in combination with liraglutide exert clinically relevant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and improve physical functioning. Thus, adding liraglutide does not interfere with the ability to improve fitness with exercise, supporting the combined use in weight maintenance.


S. Jensen: None. C. Janus: Research Support; Spouse/Partner; Mercodia, Novo Nordisk A/S. Research Support; Self; Novo Nordisk Foundation. Research Support; Spouse/Partner; Novo Nordisk Foundation. Speaker’s Bureau; Spouse/Partner; Merck Sharp < Dohme Corp. J.R. Lundgren: None. C.R. Juhl: None. M.B. Blond: None. B. Stallknecht: None. J.J. Holst: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, Merck Sharp < Dohme Corp., Novo Nordisk A/S, Zealand Pharma A/S. Other Relationship; Spouse/Partner; Antag Therapeutics. S. Madsbad: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck Sharp < Dohme Corp., Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi-Aventis. Research Support; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Novo Nordisk A/S. Speaker’s Bureau; Self; AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Novo Nordisk A/S. S.S. Torekov: Research Support; Self; Novo Nordisk Inc.


Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF16OC0019968, NNF15SA0018486); University of Copenhagen; Helsefonden; Danish Diabetes Academy

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