A study that included over 17,000 patients aged 45 and above with a BMI of 27 or higher and existing cardiovascular disease but no history of diabetes was recently conducted. The participants were divided into two groups, one receiving semaglutide treatment and the other placebo. The results showed that during an average follow-up of almost 40 months, 6.5% of the treatment group experienced significant cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes compared to 8% in the placebo group. This demonstrated a 20% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease when using the drug intended for obesity treatment.
According to Avi Karsik, director of the obesity clinic at DMC’s center for diabetes, endocrinology, and obesity treatment, these findings have far-reaching implications. Obesity affects a significant portion of the world’s population and is a critical factor in cardiovascular diseases. This study highlights the potential of the drug in managing cardiovascular risks among this segment of the population that has not been previously targeted by such treatments before. The results held true regardless of participants’ initial BMI, indicating that the benefits may extend beyond weight loss alone.
This research marks a significant step forward in fighting against cardiovascular disease among those struggling with obesity. It opens up new therapeutic options beyond traditional lifestyle interventions and bariatric surgery while also highlighting the need for equity in access to such treatments. Furthermore, it underscores the importance of preventive strategies against obesity to reduce overall healthcare costs and improve public health outcomes.