Patient Care delivers the latest medical news straight to primary care clinicians every day. In case you missed it, here’s a concise summary of a groundbreaking study presented at the recent American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
The study focused on investigating whether the addition of semaglutide to standard care could effectively reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events among adults who are overweight or obese and already have cardiovascular disease (CVD), but do not have diabetes.
Researchers conducted the SELECT trial, enrolling a total of 17,604 patients aged 45 years or older with pre-existing CVD and a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or higher, but without a history of diabetes. Participants were assigned randomly in a 1:1 ratio to either receive once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide 2.4 mg or a placebo.
The findings of the study were highly promising. After a mean duration of 33 months of treatment with semaglutide 2.4 mg, the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke reduced by an impressive 20%. This highlights the potential of semaglutide as a valuable addition to standard care for individuals with pre-existing CVD who are overweight or obese but do not have diabetes.
While the results were encouraging, it is important to note that there were some side effects associated with semaglutide treatment. The study revealed a lower incidence of serious side effects among those treated with semaglutide compared to the placebo group. However, patients in the semaglutide group were more likely to discontinue treatment due to side effects, with gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea and diarrhea being the most common culprits.
Further research is necessary to fully understand the mechanisms behind semaglutide’s effectiveness in reducing cardiovascular risk. As one of the study authors remarked, the molecule and receptor involved are complex, and the results cannot be simplistically attributed solely to weight loss.
For more details on this significant study, please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes and, in some cases, obesity. It belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Semaglutide works by stimulating the release of insulin and reducing the secretion of glucagon, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
What were the primary findings of the study?
The study found that treatment with semaglutide 2.4 mg for an average of 33 months reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke by 20% in individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular disease and overweight or obesity but without diabetes.
What were the side effects of semaglutide?
While semaglutide showed promising results in reducing cardiovascular risk, it was associated with gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Additionally, patients receiving semaglutide were more likely to discontinue treatment due to side effects compared to those receiving the placebo.
Are there any plans for further research?
As with any groundbreaking study, further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms behind semaglutide’s effects and to ensure its safety and efficacy in diverse populations. Ongoing studies will likely shed more light on the potential benefits and risks of semaglutide treatment.