Novo Nordisk’s Obesity Treatment, Wegovy, Shows Potential Heart Protective Benefits
Novo Nordisk’s obesity treatment, Wegovy, has been found to provide heart protective benefits beyond just weight loss, according to new data presented at a recent medical meeting. The study, known as the Select trial, revealed that Wegovy reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from heart disease by an impressive 20%.
One of the striking findings from the early data was that the cardiovascular benefits of Wegovy were observed almost immediately after starting treatment. This suggests that weight loss alone may not be the sole cause of the benefits. The trial involved overweight and obese patients with preexisting heart disease but without diabetes. It demonstrated that Wegovy reduced the risk of non-fatal heart attacks by 28%, non-fatal strokes by 7%, and heart-related deaths by 15% compared to a placebo.
Researchers speculate that Wegovy influences multiple pathways related to heart health, including inflammation, blood pressure, and blood sugar control. These potential mechanisms could explain the medication’s positive effects on cardiovascular outcomes.
While Wegovy was considered safe and well-tolerated overall, some patients did experience gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting. However, these side effects were deemed manageable and did not outweigh the benefits observed.
Novo Nordisk aims to update Wegovy’s label to include the newfound heart benefits. Approval in the United States is anticipated in the first half of next year, with approval in the European Union expected in the second half of the year.
Experts believe that Wegovy should be considered as a frontline treatment for heart disease, particularly for patients who have experienced a heart attack or have obstructive coronary disease and a body mass index (BMI) over 27. The promising results raise important questions about when to start Wegovy treatment, the amount of weight loss needed for maximum benefit, and how to safely discontinue treatment.
As Novo Nordisk continues to gather more information and secure regulatory approvals, it is clear that Wegovy has the potential to revolutionize obesity treatment by not only helping patients shed unwanted pounds but also by protecting their hearts. Health professionals and patients alike eagerly await further developments in this exciting field of research.