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DUBLIN — Taking Novo Nordisk’s new obesity drug may help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as boost weight loss, according to new research from the United States.
After one year of taking semaglutide, sold as Wegovy, patients’ risk of suffering from conditions such as heart attack or stroke in the next ten years dropped to 6.3% from 7.6% when measured of a commonly used calculator, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found.
The results, presented this week at the European Congress on Obesity in Dublin, are among the first indications that weight loss caused by new GLP-1 agonist drugs such as Wegovy also brings health benefits to heart – something that scientists expected, but not. there is still a lot of comprehensive data to prove.
The study was done on just 93 patients, and the researchers said more and larger studies are needed to see if the risk reduction score actually means less disease and death in the long term.
Novo is expected to release results from its five years SELECT a test is looking at the health impact of its injectable drug, particularly on heart disease, later this year. Investors, governments and insurers are watching the data closely.
“This is very important, because we know that obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Andres Acosta, one of the researchers, to Reuters.
“So the question is, with drugs of 15% (average weight loss), can we start improving cardiovascular risk and say that people are dying less?” he said.
Risk is 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 the drug as well as after a year of taking it.
The research was peer-reviewed by the congress organizers, the European Association for the Study of Obesity, but the full paper is not yet available. The study was not funded by Novo.