Wegovy, one of the most promising new obesity treatments, was shown to improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with obesity and a prevalent kind of heart failure in a research supported by the drug’s manufacturer, providing more support that these therapies may have positive health effects beyond simple weight reduction.
Preserved ejection fraction is a condition in which the heart pumps correctly but lacks the flexibility required to fill with blood; this research assessed the medicine in persons with this condition and published its findings on Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine. About half of all occurrences of heart failure are caused by this disorder.
Improvements in physical fitness and symptoms like weariness and shortness of breath were more pronounced in the Wegovy group compared to the placebo group. Although this yearly research of 529 people did not set out to evaluate cardiac crises, it did find that 12 individuals on placebo and just one on Wegovy needed hospitalisation or an urgent medical visit due to heart failure.
The research found that the medicine reduced symptoms of heart failure more effectively than other therapies.
Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod, the study’s lead investigator and a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, also consults for Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy. A genuine paradigm change is on the horizon.
Obesity was formerly seen by cardiologists as something that occurred with heart failure. The link between fat and illness risk has been reinforced by the latest research.
Dr. Kosiborod referred to this as “proof of concept” that obesity has to be addressed as a fundamental cause of heart failure and targeted as a treatment approach for many people with this kind of heart failure.
This year should also see the completion of a trial examining the medicine in individuals with heart failure who are either overweight or diabetic. Novo Nordisk has indicated that it may pursue having the medicine officially recommended for the treatment of heart failure if the aforementioned trial also shows positive results.
Researchers need to investigate the medicine for extended periods of time in larger samples of patients to see whether it truly reduces the risk of hospitalisations or fatalities, according to scientists who were not involved in the experiment. Improvements on these criteria were particularly striking, they said, considering the severity of physical restrictions and symptoms experienced by patients with this kind of heart failure.
Wegovy patients reported an improvement in symptoms that was around eight points higher than placebo patients on a measure of quality of life and physical capacities out of a possible 100 points. The results of a six-minute walk test for those using Wegovy were also significantly improved.
The trial was small, so it’s difficult to draw conclusions about the drugs’ long-term sustained effects. He was compensated by Novo Nordisk but had no role in their most recent study.
Wegovy and Ozempic, a diabetes-specific form of the same medicine, have become very popular due to the impressive weight reduction outcomes they have exhibited, so much so that Novo Nordisk has had trouble keeping up with rising demand.
This current research adds to the growing body of data that shows the drug’s effects go much beyond simple weight loss.
For instance, last month the business disclosed that in a separate group of patients in a major study, Wegovy reduced the risk of cardiac problems by 20%, a finding that was viewed as critical for convincing more insurers to fund the new weight reduction medications. The topline numbers can’t be analysed until the corporation releases the underlying data.
Dr. Ania Jastreboff, an endocrinologist and obesity medicine expert at Yale University who consults for manufacturers of obesity medications, stated, “Obesity is associated with 200 other obesity-related diseases.” This is just one more compelling illustration of how treating a single condition may have far-reaching effects on the health of a large number of individuals.
Some of the improvements in patients’ heart health, according to experts, may have been attributable to the weight reduction alone. More study is needed to determine the precise effect that weight reduction had, as well as any other variables that may have contributed.
For instance, preliminary evidence that Wegovy may have anti-inflammatory effects was identified in the Friday-published research on heart failure. Another indicator that the medicine may have an impact on heart failure is that patients using it had reduced levels of a key marker of heart congestion.