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Nov 5, 2023

Heart Health

Wegovy-SELECT-Trial: Weight Loss Drug Investigated for Heart Benefits

All About Wegovy

Wegovy is a medication that was originally approved for the use of weight loss in obesity. Wegovy is a medication that contains the active ingredient “semaglutide”. As you may know, this is the same active ingredient that is in the popular medication Ozempic. While Ozempic is often known for its weight loss side effect, it’s approved by the FDA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as to reduce the risk of heart-related events (such as heart attack and stroke) in individuals with type 2 diabetes and established heart disease.

Wegovy, on the other hand has been FDA-approved for the weight loss in obesity, for individuals with a BMI 30 kg/m2 or higher, or those with a BMI 27 kg/m2 or higher and at least one weight-related condition (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc). Wegovy, though it contains the same active ingredient, does not have the additional FDA-indicated benefit of heart-related protection.

However, the SELECT trial, which has been in progress since 2018, is investigating if Wegovy also has these heart-protective effects.

The SELECT Trial

The SELECT trial is a study being completed by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy. They are conducting this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate if the use of Wegovy (semaglutide 2.4 mg) is effective for prevention of heart-related events. This trial is set for a period of 5 years, in individuals aged 45 overweight or with obesity, as well as some established form of heart disease. Importantly, the individuals included in this trial had no current or history of diabetes. Ideally, this trial is trying to establish that Wegovy is statistically better than placebo at reducing heart-related events (such as heart attack, stroke, or death), with a goal of 20% reduction in events.

Results So Far

This trial has not been published yet, and all results are preliminary. However, these preliminary results are extremely positive. At this point, Novo Nordisk has claimed that they have achieved their main goal of a 20% reduction in heart-related events when using Wegovy as compared to placebo (no Wegovy). Additionally, as with previous trials studying Wegovy, this trial has also demonstrated the medication to be well-tolerated by the individuals taking it.

Why is this significant? Obesity is a serious health condition, and greatly increases the risk of other health conditions and death. While there are a few weight-loss medications approved for obesity, none of them have been proved to have any additional protection from heart-related events. Other medications, such as Ozempic which is approved for use in individuals with diabetes, have shown this heart-related protection, but were only studied in individuals with diabetes.

This, therefore, would make Wegovy the first weight-loss medication that has the additional approval for heart-related protection. This medication then has the potential to be protective in individuals who are already at high risk of heart related events, those with obesity, while also helping to cause weight loss.


  1. WEGOVY (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. Food and Drug Administration. (06/2021). Retrieved August 18, 2023, from
  2. Ozempic (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. Food and Drug Administration. (12/2017). Retrieved August 18, 2023, from
  3. Company Announcement. Novo Nordisk. (2023, August 8). Retrieved August 18, 2023, from
  4. Semaglutide Effects on Heart Disease and Stroke in Patients With Overweight or Obesity (SELECT). U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2023, from

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