While weight loss medications are a safe and effective way to help people lose weight and improve their overall health, some are concerned about the potential risks associated with these medications, particularly when it comes to the heart. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at weight loss medications and their potential impact on heart health.
Weight loss medications, also known as anti-obesity medications, are prescription drugs designed to help people lose weight. There are several different types of weight loss medications available, each of which works in a slightly different way.
For example, some weight loss medications work by reducing appetite, while others work by interfering with the body's ability to absorb fat. Still, others work by increasing the body's metabolism or altering the way that the brain processes food.
While weight loss medications can be effective in helping people lose weight. They can be prescribed to a variety of people, including individuals who are obese or who have a high risk of developing obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
One of the main concerns with weight loss medications is their potential impact on heart health. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, and many people who are prescribed weight loss medications are already at an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.
So, are weight loss medications safe for the heart? The answer is somewhat complicated and depends on several factors, including the type of medication, the individual's overall health status, and other risk factors for heart disease.
One study, a meta-analysis including almost 30,000 patients and more than 5 different weight loss medications, found that along with weight loss patients also experienced:
This study suggests that even with taking weight loss medication, patients had improved cardiovascular functioning and overall health.
Additionally, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recently released a joint statement on the use of weight loss medications in patients with obesity and heart disease.
In the statement, the AHA and ACC noted that weight loss medications can be a useful tool in helping patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The statement emphasized the importance of individualized treatment plans that take into account a patient's overall health status and risk factors for heart disease.
In conclusion, studies have shown that weight loss medications are useful not only for losing weight but weight loss medications are also associated with decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol, decreased insulin resistance, decreased fasting glucose, and decreased hemoglobin A1c. The American Heart Association also recognizes that weight loss medications are helpful for weight loss and can be individualized to an individual’s overall health.
If you would like to learn more about weight loss medications and heart safety, or want to see if you might be eligible for medication-assisted weight loss, check out Mochi Health, where board-certified obesity medicine physicians can offer expertise in this realm!
1.Khera R, Pandey A, Chandar AK, et al. Effects of Weight-Loss Medications on Cardiometabolic Risk Profiles: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2018;154(5):1309-1319.e7. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2017.12.024
2. Hall ME, Cohen JB, Ard JD, et al. Weight-Loss Strategies for Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Hypertension. 2021;78(5):e38-e50. doi:10.1161/HYP.0000000000000202