Wegovy reduces risk of heart attacks, strokes in landmark trial

The current trial is sponsored by Novo Nordisk, the maker of Wegovy and Ozempic, and follows patients for two years all around the worldHalf of the participants received weekly injections of semaglutide, while the other half received a placebo. Neither group of patients knew which drug they were receiving. More than three-quarters of patients had previously experienced a heart attack, and nearly a quarter had chronic heart failure. The average age of the volunteers was 61.6 years old, and about three-quarters of them were men.

Patients who took semaglutide experienced greater reductions in heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and biomarkers of inflammation than those who took a placebo. But trial researchers are most interested in whether semaglutide can reduce the risk of major cardiovascular disease. During the study, 234 patients in the semaglutide group experienced a nonfatal heart attack, and 154 patients developed a heart attack. nonfatal stroke compared with 322 and 165 patients in the placebo group, respectively. Among patients taking semaglutide, 97 were hospitalized or received emergency treatment compared with 122 people taking placebo. 223 people in the semaglutide group died from cardiovascular disease, compared with 262 people taking placebo. died during the trial.

“This is an exciting and groundbreaking study showing that obesity treatment can save lives and reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events,” said Ariana Chao, a nutrition researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing who was not involved in the trial. .

Some patients discontinued the trial due to gastrointestinal symptoms associated with semaglutide. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea –Known side effects of GLP-1 drugs.

It’s not entirely clear why semaglutide has such a large effect on cardiovascular risk. Much of the benefit may be explained by weight loss caused by the drug. In the latest trial, patients taking semaglutide lost an average of 9.4% of their weight compared with those in the control group, while those taking a placebo lost less than 1%.

But patients did not achieve maximum weight loss until about 65 weeks into the trial, suggesting that factors other than weight loss may be at play. “Notably, the difference in weight loss rates between the two treatment groups began to show up very early,” said A. Michael Lincoff, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and one of the trial’s researchers. ) said at a press conference.

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