Can Weight Loss Injections Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke?

Can Weight Loss Injections Reduce The Risk Of Heart Attack Or Stroke?

A study finds that obesity drugs could reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes in obese people without diabetes.

Weight loss injections have been a hot topic of discussion in recent years, capturing the attention of both the media and the medical community. As the battle against obesity continues, these injectable medications have emerged as a promising new approach to weight management. 

While traditional methods like diet and exercise remain essential, weight loss injections offer an additional tool, particularly for individuals struggling with obesity and its associated health risks, such as heart attacks and strokes.

The Heart Health of the UK 

Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are a major health concern in the UK. According to the British Heart Foundation, a staggering 7.6 million Brits are living with heart or circulatory conditions. These diseases don’t just impact a person’s well-being but also put a huge strain on the healthcare system and society.

Obesity is a leading risk factor for developing heart disease, with the NHS Digital Health Survey for England 2021 finding that 28% of adults in England are obese, with another 38% being overweight. These shocking stats highlight the urgent need for effective weight management to reduce the risks linked to obesity and improve overall heart health.

If you’re obese, your chances of having a cardiovascular event like heart attack, stroke, or heart failure are much higher. Women face a risk that’s 2.5 times higher, while men have a risk that’s nearly 3 times higher compared to those with a lower BMI.

Obesity also increases your risk of various heart conditions like coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Obese individuals are 28% more likely to develop coronary heart disease than non-obese people. If you’re obese and have diabetes, your risk of dying from heart disease or having a non-fatal heart event is substantially higher than someone who has a lower BMI.

How do weight loss injections work?

Weight loss injections containing semaglutide, like Wegovy and Ozempic, work by helping you feel fuller for longer after eating. This reduces your appetite and makes you eat less over time.

Semaglutide is a medication that mimics a hormone called GLP-1, which is naturally released by the intestines after meals. GLP-1 sends signals to the brain that increase feelings of fullness and satisfaction.

When you inject semaglutide, it activates the same receptors in the brain as GLP-1, tricking your body into thinking you’ve eaten more than you have. This curbs your appetite and hunger cravings, leading to reduced calorie intake.

Semaglutide may also slow down how quickly the stomach empties after eating, further promoting the sensation of fullness.

Initially developed for type 2 diabetes treatment, semaglutide was found to encourage significant weight loss in clinical trials, leading to its approval for chronic weight management in obese or overweight individuals.

Recent studies have also explored semaglutide’s potential benefits beyond weight loss, considering how weight loss can affect cardiovascular risk. 

Can semaglutide reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke?

Groundbreaking research has found that semaglutide could potentially reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure in obese adults. This finding suggests that semaglutide may have benefits beyond just promoting weight loss.

The largest and longest study to date on semaglutide, known as the Select trial, involved 17,604 adults aged 45 and above from 41 countries. All participants had a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher and had previously experienced a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke.

The trial, led by Professor John Deanfield from University College London, found that those taking weekly semaglutide injections had a 20% lower risk of experiencing a heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes compared to those on a placebo. This risk reduction was regardless of the amount of weight lost during the treatment.

Professor Deanfield stated, “Our findings show that the magnitude of this treatment effect with semaglutide is independent of the amount of weight lost, suggesting that the drug has other actions which lower cardiovascular risk beyond reducing unhealthy body fat.”

After 20 weeks of using semaglutide, 62% of patients also lost more than 5% of their body weight, compared to just 10% of patients in the placebo group. Those who did lose weight managed to maintain the weight loss for at least four years. 

While the exact mechanisms are still being investigated, researchers believe semaglutide may positively impact blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation and directly affect the heart muscle and blood vessels. 

These findings have been hailed as a potential “game-changer” in the fight against obesity and its associated cardiovascular risks. While more research is still needed to fully understand the long-term effects and potential side effects of semaglutide, the results from the Select trial offer a promising new avenue for individuals looking to take control of their weight and reduce their risk of life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes.

Weight Loss Injections for Heart Attacks and Strokes

A view from our expert
Picture Of Sakib Mohammed

Sakib Mohammed

Advance Pharmacist Prescriber

"As healthcare providers, we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to help our patients reduce their risk of life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes. The findings on semaglutide's potential cardiovascular benefits are incredibly promising, offering a glimmer of hope for those who have already experienced an event and the anxiety of potentially another one. Semaglutide is not a magic solution and should be considered only after patients have made efforts to manage their weight through lifestyle changes, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity."

Prioritise your weight loss with Click2Pharmacy 

At Click2Pharmacy, we understand the challenges of weight management and the importance of finding effective solutions. That’s why we offer convenient access to weight loss injections like semaglutide, allowing you to take control of your health from the comfort of your own home. Our dedicated weight loss clinic provides the guidance and support you need throughout your journey.

Don’t let obesity and its associated risks hold you back any longer. Explore our range of weight loss solutions, including semaglutide injections, to take the first step towards a healthier future. Visit our weight loss clinic today and submit a consultation form to learn how we can help you achieve your weight management goals and reduce your risk of cardiovascular events through our weight loss clinic.