Wegovy Obesity Drug Demonstrates 20% Reduction in Serious Heart Issues, According to Study

by Ryan Lee
Wegovy heart benefits

Wegovy, a well-known medication for weight loss, has shown to decrease the risk of severe heart problems by 20%, as revealed in a comprehensive international study. This research could revolutionize the treatment approach for heart patients, moving beyond its perception as merely a cosmetic solution.

While Wegovy is essentially a higher-dose form of the diabetes drug Ozempic, known for its heart-related benefits in diabetic patients, this study focused on individuals without diabetes.

Dr. Michael Lincoff, the study’s principal investigator and a cardiovascular specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, emphasized the drug’s transition from a weight reduction therapy to one that also diminishes cardiovascular incidents.

The study involved over 17,500 participants from 41 countries, all above the age of 45, with a body mass index of 27 or more. Monitored for over three years, they received either weekly Wegovy injections or placebo shots while continuing their regular heart medications.

Results indicated that 6.5% of Wegovy users experienced heart attacks, strokes, or heart-related deaths, compared to 8% in the placebo group. This represents a 20% overall risk reduction. Notably, the weight loss in the Wegovy group was about 9%, substantially more than the placebo group’s loss.

Additionally, Wegovy users exhibited improved markers of heart disease, such as lower levels of inflammation, cholesterol, blood sugars, blood pressure, and reduced waist circumference. Dr. Martha Gulati from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles pointed out that these changes occurred early in the study, suggesting that Wegovy’s benefits extend beyond weight loss.

However, the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and funded by Novo Nordisk, Wegovy’s manufacturer, also noted significant side effects. About a third of the participants reported serious adverse effects, leading to a higher dropout rate in the Wegovy group due to gastrointestinal issues.

The study’s demographic predominantly consisted of male and white participants, highlighting the need for future research to encompass a more diverse population.

This development comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Zepbound, another obesity medication by Eli Lilly, amidst ongoing shortages of these costly treatments. The high prices and limited insurance coverage for such drugs have sparked debates and legislative efforts to broaden their accessibility.

Dr. Mark McClellan, a former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the FDA, suggested that the demonstrated health benefits of obesity drugs could influence insurance coverage decisions, similar to past policies regarding weight-loss surgery.

This report is a part of the coverage by the Health and Science Department of Big Big News, supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP maintains full editorial independence in its content creation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wegovy heart benefits

What is the significance of the Wegovy study?

The Wegovy study is significant as it shows that the obesity drug Wegovy can reduce the risk of serious heart problems by 20%. This finding challenges the perception of obesity drugs as purely cosmetic treatments and suggests they can have substantial health benefits.

How does Wegovy differ from traditional weight loss medications?

Wegovy, a higher-dose form of the diabetes drug Ozempic, has been shown not only to aid in weight loss but also to reduce the risk of serious heart issues in patients without diabetes. This multifaceted approach sets it apart from traditional weight loss medications.

What were the key findings of the Wegovy study?

The study found that among participants taking Wegovy, there was a 20% reduction in the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or heart-related deaths compared to those receiving a placebo. Additionally, Wegovy users lost about 9% of their body weight and showed improvements in various heart disease markers.

Are there any side effects associated with Wegovy?

Yes, about a third of the study participants reported experiencing serious side effects with Wegovy, primarily gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, leading to a higher dropout rate from the study.

How might the Wegovy study impact health insurance coverage for obesity drugs?

The Wegovy study’s demonstration of direct health benefits, such as reduced heart risk, could influence insurance companies and policymakers to reconsider and possibly expand coverage for obesity drugs, similar to past policies on weight-loss surgery.

More about Wegovy heart benefits

  • Wegovy and Heart Health Study
  • Impact of Obesity Drugs on Cardiovascular Risk
  • Health Insurance Coverage for Obesity Treatments
  • Wegovy’s Side Effects and Safety Profile
  • FDA Approval of Obesity Medications
  • Obesity Drug Pricing and Market Shortages
  • Wegovy vs. Traditional Weight Loss Drugs
  • Future Research on Obesity Medications and Diverse Populations

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SarahK November 12, 2023 - 5:13 pm

Is it safe tho? 1/3 having serious side effects seems a bit worrying, right?

Mike Johnson November 12, 2023 - 7:30 pm

wow, 20% reduction in heart risks, that’s huge! didn’t expect obesity drugs to do that.

Emma_Rd November 12, 2023 - 7:33 pm

Interesting to see how Wegovy compares to traditional weight loss methods. More research needed, especially on diverse populations.

HealthGuru99 November 12, 2023 - 8:51 pm

Finally, some recognition for the health benefits of these drugs. Insurance companies need to step up coverage.

Dave_the_Skeptic November 13, 2023 - 12:19 pm

High prices and shortages, typical. Wonder how long before this is actually accessible to most people…


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