Semaglutide is sold by the brand name Ozempic to reduce heart attack and stroke risk in people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Research continues on whether that’s related to weight loss.
The medication known as semaglutide is used to help manage weight and lower blood sugar.
This article will explore the cardiovascular benefits of semaglutide and what you may want to discuss with your healthcare team about this medication.
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which works by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone in the body that creates additional insulin and sends signals of fullness to the brain. You may see it sold at pharmacies under the brand names Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
It’s not completely clear how semaglutide reduces these risks.
One way it likely does this is by helping people lose weight. Obesity can place
Obesity, diabetes, your heart and semaglutide
Lifestyle changes and medications are two ways to help manage weight and reduce these increased risks.
It’s hard to know whether the reduction in heart risks for those with type 2 diabetes and heart disease is just due to weight loss or if it’s due to another aspect of semaglutide. Additionally,
In mimicking the GLP-1 hormone, semaglutide creates additional insulin. This lowers blood sugar levels. Higher levels of GLP-1 also send signals of fullness to the brain. This typically results in weight loss for individuals who take semaglutide. This makes it hard for researchers to separate out this factor to determine what actually causes the reduced heart risks.
For those considered overweight or having obesity, losing 5% or more of initial weight is linked to lessening cardiometabolic disease risk, with reductions in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemia. It can also help prevent type 2 diabetes.
One thing to keep in mind is that weight gain may occur if individuals stop taking semaglutide. This can increase cardiovascular risks.
The secondary endpoints of examining cardiometabolic risk factors appear promising. But there is a need for more research on the semaglutide effects on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among those with obesity but without diabetes.
More research is still needed to better understand if and how semaglutide can benefit the cardiovascular systems of those without diabetes.
The FDA approved Ozempic for helping reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death in those with type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
More research is still needed to understand the benefits of semaglutide on heart risks for those without diabetes. It’s also important to understand how many of these benefits may just come from the drug’s help with weight management.
If you believe that you might benefit from taking semaglutide, it’s important to talk with your doctor. They can discuss the potential benefits and risks of the medication with you and advise on the appropriate dose.