The Heart House is pleased to announce that we will be opening up offices in Hammonton and Woodbury in February/March 2024.

For patients interested in being seen in one of those offices, please call 856-546-3006 ext 2100 and leave a message with your information for a Heart House team member to call you back.


Are Weight Loss Drugs the Answer to the Heart Disease Epidemic?

Weight loss medications scattered on green backdrop in cups and on the surface

You’ve undoubtedly heard the news about diabetes and weight loss drugs in short supply around the US and worldwide. Known as OzempicTM and WegovyTM, and with several more options in the pipeline, these drugs are injected directly into the abdomen and reduce hunger to allow patients to lose weight. We’ve previously discussed the phenomenon that, despite improving patient awareness, and better diagnostic testing and treatments, the rates of cardiovascular disease have remained stubbornly high in the United States. This is partly due to a significant increase in excess weight and obesity rates over the past few decades. So, does a weight loss medication regimen makes sense to curb the comorbidities associated with obesity like atherosclerosis, type two diabetes, sleep, apnea, and more?

On the surface, the answer is a resounding yes. Patients need to lose weight to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease if they carry excess weight, especially if they are obese. However, weight loss medications may only be part of the solution. First, we must remember that all medications come with side effects, and not all patients will be suited to them. Secondly, medications only work for as long as they are used. This means if the medication causes side effects, or if the patient ultimately stops using them due to insurance purposes or preference, they will likely regain the weight they lost. Lastly, for very obese patients, weight loss drugs alone may not offer a significant enough benefit to reduce cardiovascular disease dramatically.

Lifestyle Change

We must also discuss the concept of lifestyle change as part of any weight loss program. If patients consume low-quality, highly processed foods, knowing that their weight loss medication will offset those indulgences, the value of the medical therapy is diminished dramatically. However, if patients use this low hunger period to truly change how they look at food and begin eating healthier, more wholesome meals, the weight loss medication may offer true and lasting change.


We also can’t ignore the idea of proper exercise. If patients do not exercise appropriately while taking these weight-loss medications, they risk losing a significant amount of muscle mass, which is critically important for a couple of reasons. First, muscle is vital for long-term calorie burn, even at rest, and patients with more developed musculature burn more calories at rest than those with less muscle tone. Also, proper muscular composition is important for the health and support of our bones and joints. In other words, what we don’t want to do is develop musculoskeletal issues as we lose weight.

So, as you can see, the importance of a balanced weight loss and strength training program cannot be overstated. As with any single solution, weight loss drugs are not the only answer, but they can be a conduit for better health and wellness cardiovascular wellness.

To learn more about weight loss, weight loss medications, and if they are the right answer to improve your cardiovascular health, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with one of our cardiologists. We have several offices in southern New Jersey to offer you and your loved ones convenient, comprehensive care.

September 9, 2020 The Heart House is Proud to be recognized in SJ Magazine’s 2020 Top Docs

The team at The Heart House is pleased to announce our providers have been recognized by SJ Magazine in their […]

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