Cardiologist David Guarraia, MD, Comments on Recent Concerns About Weight-Loss Drugs

August 11, 2023 by

David Guarraia, MD

David Guarraia, MD

UVA Today interviewed Dr. David Guarraia in an article titled “Heart Benefits and Health Concerns: Should You Take the New Weight-Loss Drugs?”

Dr. Guarraia said semaglutide, which can be found in formulations under the brand names Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus, imitates a hormone released into the gastrointestinal tract while a person eats.  “The medication works similarly to the body’s natural hormone, but has an enhanced effect because it lasts longer in the bloodstream,” Guarraia said. “Several trials are ongoing and will be released soon, but there has been a clear reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality by treatment with GLP-1 agonists.”

Guarraia said for patients with obesity and at high risk of cardiovascular disease, or who have cardiovascular disease with or without diabetes, the GLP-1 medications can be considered. “We predominantly assess patient candidacy for this medication based on blood sugar and body weight,” he said. “Hopefully, insurance companies start to cover more patients who meet appropriate use criteria for the medication.”

Read the UVA Today story.

Filed Under: Clinical