DUBLIN (Reuters) – Taking Novo Nordisk’s new obesity drug could help reduce the risk of heart disease and boost weight loss, according to new U.S. research.
After one year of taking semaglutide, marketed as Wegovy, patients’ risk of suffering conditions such as heart attack or stroke in the next ten years dropped from 7.6% to 6.3% when measured with a commonly used calculator, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic. found.
The results, which were presented this week at the European Obesity Congress in Dublin, are among the first indications that weight loss induced by newer GLP-1 agonist drugs such as Wegovy also has benefits for heart health, something that scientists expected, but no. they still have a lot of complete data to test.
The study was conducted among only 93 patients, and the researchers said more and larger studies were needed to see if the risk reduction score actually meant less disease and death in the long term.
Novo is expected to publish the results of its 5-year SELECT trial looking at the health impact of its injectable drug, particularly with regard to heart disease, later this year. Investors, governments and insurers alike are watching the data closely.
“It is extremely important, because we know that obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Andrés Acosta, one of the researchers, told Reuters.
“So the question is, with drugs that are 15% [average weight loss]can we really start to improve cardiovascular risk and say that people die less?”
The risk was calculated using the American College of Cardiology calculator, based on data including blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The team assessed the risk before the patients (mainly white women, with a mean BMI of 39.8, but no history of heart disease) started taking the drug, as well as after a year of taking it.
The research was peer-reviewed by the conference organizers, the European Association for the Study of Obesity, but the full paper is not yet available. The study was not funded by Novo.
(Reporting by Jennifer Rigby, Editing by Louise Heavens)
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