Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website’s leading stories you may not have seen.
A recent study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions meeting in Philadelphia, PA, investigated the efficacy of semaglutide, a weight loss drug, in reducing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events among adults with overweight or obesity and pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) who did not have diabetes.
The study, known as the SELECT trial, included 17,604 patients aged 45 years and above with pre-existing CVD and a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or higher. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide 2.4 mg or a placebo. The primary endpoint of the study was a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke.
The results of the trial were promising. Patients who received semaglutide 2.4 mg for an average duration of 33 months experienced a 20% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who received the placebo. This highlights the potential of semaglutide as an effective intervention for individuals at high risk of cardiovascular complications.
However, it is important to consider the side effects associated with semaglutide. The trial showed a lower incidence of serious side effects among patients receiving semaglutide compared to those on the placebo. Nevertheless, patients in the semaglutide group were twice as likely to discontinue treatment due to side effects, with gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea and diarrhea being the most common reasons for discontinuation. These findings emphasize the need for careful monitoring and management of side effects when prescribing semaglutide.
While the mechanism of action behind semaglutide’s cardiovascular benefits remains complex and not fully understood, the study’s authors caution against oversimplifying the weight loss aspect of the drug.
In conclusion, the SELECT trial suggests that semaglutide may hold promise as a weight loss drug that also reduces cardiovascular risk in individuals with obesity and pre-existing cardiovascular disease. However, further research is needed to fully elucidate its mechanisms and long-term effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is semaglutide?
Semaglutide is a drug used for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) and works by mimicking the action of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) to regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.
2. What were the key findings of the SELECT trial?
The SELECT trial found that treatment with semaglutide 2.4 mg reduced the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (such as cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke) by 20% compared to placebo in adults with overweight or obesity and pre-existing cardiovascular disease who did not have diabetes.
3. What were the main side effects of semaglutide?
While the incidence of serious side effects was lower among patients receiving semaglutide compared to those on the placebo, patients in the semaglutide group were more likely to discontinue treatment due to side effects. The most common side effects included gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea and diarrhea.
Sources: Patient Care Online