CLEVELAND – Semaglutide, which is a popular drug used to treat diabetes, could soon have another use.
Cleveland Clinic researchers found it may also be able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in individuals who are not diabetic.
“The goal of this trial was to see whether in patients with overweight and obesity, who don’t have diabetes, if their risk of cardiovascular events could be reduced by treatment with semaglutide,” explained Michael Lincoff, MD, cardiologist for Cleveland Clinic. “We know the drug reduces body weight, but up until now, no one has shown in any group of patients with overweight and obesity that the risk for cardiovascular events could be reduced.”
Dr. Lincoff adds that it was known that semaglutide could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in those with diabetes, but it was unclear if that would also be the case in those without diabetes.
Ultimately, they discovered the drug was able to reduce the risk for cardiovascular events by about 20% — specifically in adults who are 45 and older, considered overweight or obese, not diabetic, and who have previously had a cardiovascular event.
Dr. Lincoff said the results are promising and could pave the way for future treatments.
“This marks the first intervention, either a lifestyle or a pharmacologic intervention, that’s ever been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients who have overweight and obesity but don’t have diabetes,” he noted.
While semaglutide is currently available, it still needs to be reviewed by the FDA for an expansion of the label.
Meaning, it could then be used to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in those without diabetes as well.