Obesity Drug Wegovy Reduces Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, Despite Not Contributing Much to Patient’s Weight Loss, Study Finds

By Madz Dizon

May 14, 2024 09:39 AM EDT

Obesity Drug Wegovy Reduces Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, Despite Not Contributing Much to Patient’s Weight Loss, Study Finds
In this photo illustration, the injectable weight-loss medication Wegovy is available at New City Halstead Pharmacy on April 24, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A recent study revealed that Wegovy, an obesity drug developed by Novo Nordisk A/S, has shown promising results in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients, regardless of their weight. 

Wegovy Shows Heart Benefits Across Weight Ranges

This significant finding has the potential to increase the number of prescriptions for this medication, according to medical professionals.

The heart benefit was observed in all patients taking Wegovy, including those who were overweight but not obese, and even in individuals who did not experience significant weight loss, according to John Deanfield, a cardiology professor at University College London and one of the trial leaders.

According to Deanfield's presentation at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice, the drug has the potential to benefit millions of people.

The NHS is currently testing the implementation of vaccinations for patients who are obese, although most medications are typically prescribed through private means.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is enthusiastic about a broader expansion, as the Treasury is interested in the potential impact of the jabs on reducing long-term sickness and increasing productivity.

A study conducted on a large group of overweight or obese individuals revealed that the use of a specific drug, commonly referred to as either Ozempic or Wegovy, resulted in a 20% reduction in the risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiac death. 

This reduction was observed in individuals who had been taking the drug for a minimum of three years. According to Telegraph, the effect is comparable to that of statins, but it occurs within a significantly shorter period. 

Studies have shown that the use of clot-busting drugs has significantly reduced mortality rates in high-risk populations over a span of 20 years.

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Wegovy Study: 5% Weight Loss Milestone Reached

By week 20 of the study, a significant number of patients on Wegovy had achieved a weight loss of 5% or more. Researchers discovered that the heart outcomes of patients who lost an even smaller percentage of their initial weight were comparable to those who lost more weight.

According to Deanfield, the results indicate that Wegovy's positive impact on the heart goes beyond just weight loss. 

Medical professionals are still uncertain about the exact cause, although they have suggested that reduced inflammation may be a contributing factor, Bloomberg reported.

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