The groundbreaking Semaglutide and Cardiovascular Outcomes (SELECT) trial has brought to light the significant benefits of semaglutide, the medicine behind Ozempic and Wegovy, for heart health. The study, which involved approximately 17,600 overweight or obese adults with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, has shown that weekly injections of semaglutide can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or fatal cardiovascular events by almost 20 percent, on average, over a three-year period. This landmark trial, funded by Novo Nordisk, has paved the way for further research into the cardiovascular benefits of semaglutide.

A recent study led by cardiologist John Deanfield from University College London has found that the benefits of semaglutide on heart health are not dependent on weight loss. Participants in the SELECT trial experienced a decrease in the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, regardless of their starting weight or the weight they lost during the study. This revelation challenges the notion that weight loss is the sole driver of improved cardiovascular health with semaglutide.

While semaglutide is renowned for its ability to suppress appetite and induce rapid weight loss, its benefits extend beyond just treating obesity. A recent analysis of the SELECT trial published in Nature Medicine indicates that sustained weight loss, averaging 10 percent over four years, can be achieved in individuals of varying demographics. This suggests that semaglutide could have a profound impact on reducing the public health burden of various obesity-related illnesses, including cancer, osteoarthritis, anxiety, and depression.

Biomedical researchers, including Donna Ryan from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, have highlighted that the health benefits of semaglutide may not be solely attributed to its impact on obesity. There could be an unknown mechanism at play that goes beyond reducing body fat. Further research is needed to unravel the complexities of semaglutide and its effects on cardiovascular health.

While the initial findings from the SELECT trial are promising, researchers caution against widespread use of semaglutide until more is understood about its long-term effects. Previous studies have suggested that patients may regain lost weight once semaglutide injections are stopped, raising questions about the sustainability of its benefits. Future investigations into the lasting impact of semaglutide on heart health and the mechanisms underlying its effects are crucial for optimizing its use in clinical settings.

The unexpected health benefits of semaglutide on heart health have the potential to reshape our understanding of obesity and cardiovascular disease. As researchers delve deeper into the mechanisms of semaglutide and its impact on the body, new treatment strategies and insights into preventing heart-related illnesses may emerge. The path forward involves continued research, collaboration among experts, and a focus on translating these findings into tangible benefits for patient care.


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