Ozempic Offers Hope for Kidney and Heart Health

Written by Kathrine Frich

May.25 - 2024 10:40 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
It is a game-changer according to scientist

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Patients who received semaglutide - the key ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy - were less likely to develop kidney failure or require transplants.

They were also far less likely to die from heart attacks or strokes, reinforcing the recent findings that it's the biggest breakthrough in cardiovascular disease since statins .

Experts believe these latest benefits are independent of the drug's weight loss effect because the drug triggers a separate reaction in kidney cells.

It is a Game-Changer

Researchers said the apparent wonder drug 'saves kidneys, hearts, and lives' because it increases survival chances in conditions traditionally considered a death sentence. Professor Vlado Perkovic, lead researcher from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, said it was a 'truly exciting' day for kidney patients.

He said: 'The benefits we saw were greater than we dared hope for, and we believe it's a game-changer for diabetes and kidney disease. 'We think it's a really big step forward for society and very exciting for people with kidney disease due to diabetes.'

Global Impact and Future Prospects

Uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of chronic kidney disease, which kills around 45,000 people in the UK every year.

Rising levels of type 2 diabetes are driving a 'tsunami of kidney disease' worldwide.

The global FLOW trial involved 3,500 patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease, followed for over three years. They were either given the appetite-suppressing drug semaglutide or a placebo.

One out of 20 of the individuals on the dummy drug and existing treatments died in this period, showing the level of disease among these patients. Given once weekly in the same dose as Ozempic, semaglutide was found to reduce the risk of serious kidney problems or death due to heart or kidney causes by 24 percent.

The risk of major cardiovascular events - such as heart attacks and strokes - decreased by 18 percent, and the chances of early death from any cause decreased by one-fifth (20 percent).

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