Weight-loss drug Wegovy reduces heart failure symptoms in obese patients

Madison Muller and Naomi Kresge | (TNS) Bloomberg News

Wegovy, the blockbuster weight-loss medication from Novo Nordisk A/S, alleviated heart failure symptoms in patients with obesity, according to a late-stage trial that adds to the drug’s potential benefits.

A weekly dose reduced patients’ ills that can include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs and irregular heartbeat, according to findings published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Novo’s findings are “very important,” said Eugene Yang, a cardiologist at the University of Washington who’s chair of the American College of Cardiology’s prevention of cardiovascular disease council. “As cardiologists, we want to make people feel better. Patients who are able to walk longer distances is beneficial, people losing weight and optimizing other risk factors is beneficial.”

People with obesity are typically at greater risk for developing a form of heart failure that occurs when its lower chamber pumps less blood than the body needs. In the U.S., an estimated 2.5 million people have this condition, called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, and more than 80% of those patients also have obesity. It’s most common in older people, and it can be progressive and lethal.

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