"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Weight loss drug Wegovy may help prevent heart attacks

August 8, 2023 – Heart and vascular problems resembling heart attacks and strokes were reduced by 20% in patients taking the favored but expensive weight-loss drug Wegovy, in line with a study involving greater than 17,000 individuals who were obese or obese and in addition suffered from heart problems.

The findings should improve patient access to the drug, a weight-loss tool that has been hampered up to now by skepticism from U.S. health insurers, who may now see broader health advantages than simply treating obese and obesity.

Wegovy manufacturer Novo Nordisk publishes The study results this morning. The study found that folks who received 2.4-milligram shots of semaglutide (brand name Wegovy) experienced a major 20% reduction in heart-related deaths, heart attacks or strokes.

The company stated that treatment with semaglutide also significantly reduced the incidence of every of those problems.

The results also showed a level of safety and patient tolerability for weekly injections that was consistent with previous reports. The FDA approved semaglutide in 2021 as Wegovy for weight reduction and as Ozempic with a maximum dose of two.0 milligrams for blood sugar control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide belongs to a category of medicine called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists.

“A good result for the patients”

“The top-line results … are exciting because preventing heart attacks and strokes with a drug that also reduces weight is very important for many patients, particularly if the data also show a meaningful improvement in patients' quality of life from the associated weight loss, which I suspect they will,” said Dr. Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine on the University of Glasgow in Scotland, who was not involved within the study.

“This is a good result for patients,” said Sattar, who also noted, “We do not know to what extent the weight loss effects of semaglutide, as opposed to its other direct effects on the blood vessels or the heart, are responsible for the 20 percent reduction in cardiovascular events. More data are needed to find out.”

Despite this ambiguity regarding the role that weight reduction itself played in producing these results, the findings rebut a long-standing misconception concerning the medical necessity and safety of weight reduction drugs when used solely for the aim of weight reduction.

Changing the perception of obesity

“To date, there are no approved weight management drugs that have been proven to provide effective weight control while reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death,” said Dr. Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President of Development at Novo Nordisk, in the corporate's press release.

Some of the early medical options to help weight reduction had significant unintended effects, including a rise in serious heart and vascular problems. This development led doctors to be very cautious concerning the safety of anti-obesity drugs and to consider that medically assisted weight reduction was useful for achieving health advantages.

This attitude has also contributed to medical health insurance firms now not covering the fee of weight reduction treatments. Medicare, for instance, has a long-standing policy against reimbursing weight-loss drugs, and a 2003 federal law prohibited Part D plans from offering that coverage.

According to Novo Nordisk's statement, a comprehensive report on the study's results will likely be presented at a scientific meeting later this 12 months.