Weight loss drug Wegovy can lower heart attack, stroke risk by 20%


London, Aug 8 (IANS) Popular weight loss drug Wegovy can lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke by 20 per cent, according to the results of a major trial announced on Tuesday.  

Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide (sold as Wegovy) is a once-weekly injection used to help in weight loss.

In a five-year, double-blinded trial, the company studied Wegovy against placebo in addition to standard of care for prevention of major adverse cardiac events in 17,604 adults aged 45 years or older with overweight or obesity. The participants had cardiovascular disease (CVD) but no prior history of diabetes.

The results showed that people treated with semaglutide 2.4 mg had a 20 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction or non-fatal stroke compared to those taking a placebo.

In the trial, semaglutide 2.4 mg also appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile.

“People living with obesity have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease but to date, there are no approved weight management medications proven to deliver effective weight management while also reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death. Therefore, we are very excited about the results showing that semaglutide 2.4 mg reduces the risk of cardiovascular events,” Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice-President for Development at Novo Nordisk, said in a statement.

“The landmark trial demonstrated that semaglutide 2.4 mg has the potential to change how obesity is regarded and treated,” Lange added.

The findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, will be presented at a scientific conference later in 2023, the company said.

The company added it will file for regulatory approvals to add the cardiovascular benefits to the drug’s prescribing information.

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