Well the news on semaglutide is coming out so fast that I literally can’t keep up. Even this week’s fresh episode on all things semaglutide missed the news that came out over the weekend showing remarkable benefits of semaglutide in people with heart failure (HF).
Study participants on semaglutide showed an average weight loss of 13.3%, a drop in CRP (a marker of inflammation) by over 40 points!! And improvement of 21 meters on a 6 minute walk test as compared to placebo.
That means people who could not walk down the block could now walk down the block.
People who could not chase their kids in the living room could now chase their kids in their living room.
That’s a big deal!
Also in the news this month, a landmark study showing a reduction of up to 1.5 million cardiovascular events in eligible patients if given semaglutide. That’s a risk reduction of nearly 18% in strokes and heart attacks. Considering that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and woman in the US (yes ladies, it is not breast cancer, its heart disease and not just in smokers and people with high cholesterol but also woman with lupus and other autoimmune diseases, a history of preeclamsia or babies with IUGR, woman with PCOS are also at risk. If that includes you this is about prevention not fear! Listen to my friend, woman’s heart guru Dr. Odayme Queseda for how you can minimize your cardiac risk.)
Anyway… I digress, but given that cardiovascular disease is such a big public health problem, this data really is exciting.
And if you are thinking great but who cares I’m not overweight or I don’t have obesity, this information is still relevant to you.
Currently 41.9% of the US adult population is considered to have obesity, and 73.6% are classified as overweight. By 2030, 1 in every 2 people in the US is expected to be diagnosed with obesity.
And meanwhile we continue to think of excess weight as a cosmetic disease, we continue to shame people for wanting to lose weight or seeking out medical treatments.
Unfortunately, obesity stigma and weight bias is everywhere including in our healthcare system. This month payors started dropping benefits for semaglutide and other anti-obesity medications citing high costs of treatment. But I wonder, what if we woke up one day and learned that insurance companies decided to drop an entire class of medications, like all medications treating hypertension, or all medications treating diabetes, or cancer? It would never happen!
Life-saving treatments for obesity should be no different.
I wonder what your thoughts are on this topic? Do you believe your thoughts are based on bias? Implicit or otherwise? There is no shame to bias, we all have them, it would only be a shame if we were not aware enough to challenge them.
You can listen to more about these topics and this weeks newsbite here.
Stay healthy, stay active and stay open-minded and open-hearted.