A recent study conducted in the United States suggests that Novo Nordisk’s obesity drug, semaglutide (sold as Wegovy), not only aids in weight loss but also reduces the risk of heart disease. The study’s findings, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Dublin, indicate that patients who took Wegovy for one year experienced a decrease in their risk of heart attacks and strokes over the next decade. The widely used calculator used in the research showed a decrease in risk from 7.6% to 6.3%.
Although the study involved only 93 patients, it provides preliminary evidence of the positive impact of GLP-1 agonist drugs, like Wegovy, on heart health. However, researchers emphasize the need for more extensive and larger-scale studies to determine if the reduction in risk scores translates into long-term benefits in terms of illness and mortality.
Novo Nordisk plans to release the results of its SELECT trial, a five-year investigation into the health effects of its injectable drug, later this year. The trial specifically examines the drug’s impact on heart disease. The release of these findings is highly anticipated by investors, governments, and insurers.
Dr. Andres Acosta, a researcher involved in the study, underscores the significance of the results, considering obesity’s well-known association with cardiovascular disease. The aim is to ascertain whether medications that achieve an average weight loss of 15% can effectively improve cardiovascular risk and decrease mortality rates.
The researchers utilized the American College of Cardiology’s calculator, which incorporates factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, to assess the risk. The study analyzed the risk before the patients, primarily white women with an average BMI of 39.8 and no history of heart disease, commenced the drug and after one year of treatment.
Although the research received peer review from the European Association for the Study of Obesity, the full paper is currently unavailable. It is important to note that the study did not receive funding from Novo Nordisk.
Despite Novo Nordisk’s involvement in the development and marketing of Wegovy, it is worth mentioning that the study was not funded by the company. This independent approach helps ensure unbiased research and allows for a more objective evaluation of the drug’s effectiveness and potential benefits.
As the fight against obesity continues, advancements in medication and treatment options such as Wegovy provide hope for individuals struggling with weight management. While further research is needed to solidify the findings of this study, the potential of reducing heart disease risk through weight loss with the help of Wegovy could mark a significant breakthrough in the field of obesity treatment and cardiovascular health.