A recent study has shown that a medication called semaglutide can reduce heart problems in overweight people. This medication is typically used for diabetes, but it can also help with weight management.
The study’s findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023, which is a conference that shares important scientific discoveries about the heart and health.
Being overweight or obese is a big health issue worldwide. It can lead to serious problems like heart disease.
More than half the people in the world are expected to be overweight or obese by 2035. Heart diseases caused by being overweight are responsible for millions of deaths.
Semaglutide: A Medication with Multiple Uses
Semaglutide is a medicine that’s usually given to people with type 2 diabetes to help control their blood sugar. But it was also approved in 2021 to help people with obesity or being overweight manage their weight, especially if they have other health problems.
The Study: What Happened?
In this study, researchers wanted to see if semaglutide could help overweight people with heart problems. They included over 17,000 adults from 41 different countries.
All of them had heart issues like heart attacks or strokes in the past, and they were overweight. They were divided into two groups: one group received semaglutide, and the other group received a fake treatment called a placebo.
Here’s what the study found:
Weight Loss: People who took semaglutide lost an average of 9.4% of their body weight. This shows that semaglutide can help people lose weight.
Less Heart Problems: The group that took semaglutide had a 20% lower risk of heart-related death, heart attacks, or strokes compared to the group that took the placebo. This means semaglutide can reduce the risk of these heart problems.
Using semaglutide was generally safe, but some people stopped taking it because of side effects like nausea and diarrhea. These side effects often happen when people start taking this type of medicine.
There were slightly more gallbladder problems in the group that took semaglutide compared to the placebo group. However, semaglutide did not cause severe stomach or pancreas issues, mental health problems, or kidney problems.
A New Approach to Fighting Heart Issues
This study shows that semaglutide can help overweight people with heart problems lose weight and reduce their risk of heart-related issues like heart attacks and strokes. It’s an exciting step forward in addressing the health challenges of being overweight.
While this study focused on people with previous heart problems, future research may explore whether semaglutide can help prevent heart issues in people who are overweight but haven’t had heart problems before.
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The research findings can be found in New England Journal of Medicine.
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