AHA: Semaglutide Cuts Risk for CVD Events in Patients Without Diabetes

Findings seen over three years in adults with preexisting cardiovascular disease and overweight or obesity

MONDAY, Nov. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Weekly subcutaneous semaglutide significantly cuts the incidence of cardiovascular death and nonfatal heart attacks and strokes in adults with preexisting cardiovascular disease and overweight or obesity but no diabetes, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2023, held from Nov. 11 to 13 in Philadelphia.

A. Michael Lincoff, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues assessed whether semaglutide can reduce cardiovascular risk associated with overweight and obesity in the absence of diabetes. The analysis included 17,604 patients (aged 45 years and older) with preexisting cardiovascular disease and a body mass index ≥27 kg/m2 who were randomly assigned to once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide at a dose of 2.4 mg or placebo.

The researchers found that during a mean duration of exposure to semaglutide or placebo of 34.2 months and a mean follow-up of 39.8 months, a primary cardiovascular end-point event (death or nonfatal heart attack or stroke) occurred in 6.5 percent of the semaglutide group and in 8.0 percent of the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.80). Discontinuation due to adverse events occurred in 16.6 percent of participants in the semaglutide group and among 8.2 percent in the placebo group.

“The magnitude of the effect of semaglutide in the current trial was similar to that among patients with diabetes in previous studies (within the constraints of between-trial comparisons), which suggests that treatment with semaglutide could be applied more broadly for secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in the expanding population of patients with overweight and obesity and atherosclerotic vascular disease,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of semaglutide.

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