Drug May Improve Heart Health in the Obese
According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) semaglutide, a medication sold as Ozempic by Novo Nordisk, may be associated with heart health improvement. For one year, the researchers followed 529 obese participants that had heart failure with ejection fraction, a condition where the heart pumps normally but is too stiff to fill properly. Half of the participants received semaglutide, and the other half received a placebo. Participants on semaglutide had almost double the heart improvement as measured by a standard heart failure questionnaire. They also experienced an average reduction of body weight of 13.3 percent compared to a 2.5 percent reduction in the placebo group and could walk an extra 66 feet in six minutes.
In another study of semaglutide also published in NEJM, participants on the drug had a 20 percent lower risk of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and strokes than those taking a placebo. The multi-center, double-blind, randomized trial included more than 17,600 obese participants aged 45 or older that had cardiovascular disease, but no history of diabetes. Half of the participants received the drug, while the other half were given a placebo and were followed for approximately 40 months.