Treatment found to reduce risk for people with condition at high risk of developing heart complications.

A presentation on semaglutide has shown a reduction in the risk of developing heart complications for people living with type 2 diabetes taking the treatment.

Study results showed that treatment with Ozempic (once-weekly semaglutide) or Rybelsus (oral semaglutide) demonstrated consistent reductions in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) compared with placebo, regardless of baseline blood sugar or kidney function.

Most participants included in post-study analysis of the SUSTAIN 6 and PIONEER 6 trials had normal or mildly decreased kidney function (measured by estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR]) and were normoalbuminuric (or kidney disease, measured by urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio [UACR]).

Researchers said the findings proved there were benefits in taking the treatment for people living with type 2 diabetes, who were at a higher risk of developing heart-related complications.

The results were presented by Novo Nordisk at the 58th European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting 2022.

An ambulance waiting in the UK.


Dr Linda Mellbin, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, said: “There is a need for us to consider cardiovascular risk when choosing type 2 diabetes medications and use treatments with a proven cardiovascular benefit in people who are at high risk. These new analyses further reinforce the cardiovascular benefits of semaglutide in a broad range of people with type 2 diabetes.”

The positive effect of semaglutide on MACE appeared to be consistent across sub-groups of study participants regardless of their kidney function, when compared to those taking a placebo.

HbA1c (blood sugar levels) were also reported as a positive effect of semaglutide in comparison to the placebo.

Florian M. M. Baeres, Corporate Vice President of Novo Nordisk, said: “We believe in the potential and versatility of the semaglutide molecule, which has demonstrated multiple clinical benefits in people living with type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide and it is our ambition to provide wider treatment options to reduce the disease burden for people living with cardiovascular disease.”

The results presented were compiled from reports of the SUSTAIN 6 and PIONEER 6 cardiovascular outcomes trials, which included a total of 6,480 adults with type 2 diabetes at high cardiovascular risk.

The SUSTAIN 6 and PIONEER 6 studies assessed the effect of Ozempic and Rybelsus, respectively, on the risk of MACE (death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction or nonfatal stroke) compared with placebo treatment.

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