Cardiovascular diseases, globally and in the US, stand as the primary cause of death. Any intervention capable of reducing fatalities due to heart-related ailments is a reason for optimism, regardless of the magnitude of its impact, whether modest or substantial.Rarely, however, does an intervention emerge with the potential to impact mortality as significantly as the latest one. In a recent news release, the manufacturer of semaglutide, a diabetes and weight loss drug sold under the names Wegovy and Ozempic, announced a remarkable 20% reduction in the risk of serious cardiovascular incidents, encompassing death, heart attack, and stroke.
James Januzzi, a cardiologist and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, expressed widespread enthusiasm, noting that while strides have been made in curbing heart disease over the past two decades, these achievements are jeopardized by the surge in obesity and diabetes.Researchers had reasonable expectations that semaglutide’s aid in weight loss would confer some level of defense against heart disease. Yet, the magnitude of this protective effect proved to be unexpectedly substantial.Joseph C. Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and president of the American Heart Association, explained that a 20% reduction carries significant weight in the context of heart disease research.
The press release has generated well-deserved enthusiasm. However, it’s essential to note that this release represents preliminary information, not a peer-reviewed publication.A comprehensive study report, titled SELECT, will undergo peer review before publication in due course. The complete report is expected to unveil more details and, hopefully, address questions regarding the drug’s mechanism of action, optimal usage, and equitable distribution.Meanwhile, numerous experts share Wu’s optimism that semaglutide, as an additional resource, could emerge as an immensely potent instrument in reducing heart disease-related deaths.Early findings hint at semaglutide’s potential to extend lifesaving benefits to a broader spectrum of patients than initially anticipated. The news release by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of semaglutide, provided a preliminary overview of results from the SELECT clinical trial, which tracked the medication’s effects on 18,000 adults over a span of up to five years.