Roche’s weight loss medication, Xenical (orlistat) can help tackle the key cardiovascular risk factors known collectively as “metabolic syndrome” – considered by many to be a cardiovascular time bomb affecting up to one in five people in Western countries.

Specifically, an analysis of 20 global clinical trials found Xenical to be significantly more effective than diet alone in reducing weight and improving cardiovascular risk factors in patients with the metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, more than half of patients who received extended Xenical treatment no longer had metabolic syndrome at the end of the study period. The meta-analysis assessed data from studies involving some 3,562 patients, and found that more than twice as much weight loss was achieved with Xenical compared to diet alone (-12% versus -5%). Furthermore, significantly more patients receiving Xenical no longer had metabolic syndrome compared to those on diet alone (57% versus 39%) with significant reductions in several key risk factors, including waist measurement and blood pressure, as well as an increase in levels of the good HDL cholesterol.

Xenical is already recommended for preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes – another key component of metabolic syndrome [[01/11/04f]].