Navigation Links
Controversial Cholesterol Drug Might Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
Date:7/19/2011

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Australian researchers have discovered that a drug initially designed to raise levels of "good" HDL cholesterol has an unexpected benefit in people with type 2 diabetes: it lowered their blood sugar.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that this particular medication, torcetrapib, also has a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular problems and mortality. In fact, the problems were so significant with torcetrapib that the initial trial, known as ILLUMINATE, was halted early. However, there are two other medications -- dalcetrapib and anacetrapib -- in the same drug class as torcetrapib that don't appear to have the same heart risks, according to the study authors.

What remains to be seen is if these other drugs have the same benefits that torcetrapib did.

"Diabetic patients in the ILLUMINATE trial who received the combination of atorvastatin plus torcetrapib had lower levels of [short-term and long-term blood sugar] than those receiving atorvastatin alone, indicating that treatment with torcetrapib, compared with placebo, resulted in improvement in diabetic control," wrote the Australian researchers.

Atorvastatin, better known by its brand name, Lipitor, is a statin that's commonly prescribed to reduce levels of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol.

Results of the Australian study are published in the Aug. 2 issue of Circulation.

Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, and significantly increases the likelihood of having a heart attack, according to background information in the study. Dyslipidemia (which means high LDL levels and low HDL levels) is common for people with type 2 diabetes.

The drug torcetrapib is from a class of medications called CETP inhibitors. These drugs help raise levels of HDL cholesterol.

The ILLUMINATE trial included 6,661 people with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 45 and 75. Almost 4,000 of the people with type 2 diabetes had a history of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.

All of the study participants were given lifestyle education and the LDL-lowering drug, atorvastatin. They were then randomly placed into one of two groups: one group received 60 milligrams of torcetrapib daily, while the other group received placebo pills.

The trial was stopped in 2006 when it was determined that people in the torcetrapib group had significantly more cardiovascular problems and deaths than those in the placebo group. According to the Australian researchers, the increased risk of cardiovascular problems probably wasn't due to the CETP inhibition, but to other actions of the drug. They suspect that the other medications in this class of medicines won't have the same detrimental effects.

For the current study, the researchers went back through the data to examine the drug's effect on blood sugar. They found fasting blood sugar levels were lower for the torcetrapib group, and hemoglobin A1C levels (a test that provides a two- to three-month average of blood sugar levels) were also lower -- 7.29 percent in the placebo group and 7.06 percent in the torcetrapib group, according to the study.

"This is a mild drop in blood sugar. For someone who averages 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) each day, this would bring them down to around 140 mg/dL," explained Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an attending endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"I don't think these are powerful anti-diabetic agents, but it's an added effect, and it makes sense if we can treat several risk factors with one drug," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Zonszein said there's no clear explanation for how this medication might be lowering blood sugar levels, but notes that type 2 diabetes and cholesterol problems are very closely related.

Both Zonszein and Mezitis said it remains to be seen whether or not the other drugs in this class of medications will be safer than torcetrapib, and whether they also have the same effects on blood sugar levels.

Mezitis added, "This won't change practice for now. We need more studies to understand the pathophysiology, and we need solid cardiovascular evidence for the other agents in this class."

More information

To learn more about the connection between type 2 diabetes and cholesterol, visit the American Diabetes Association.

SOURCES: Spyros Mezitis, M.D., attending endocrinologist and clinical investigator, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Aug. 2, 2011, Circulation


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Controversial TOFT theory of cancer versus SMT model: Authors do battle in BioEssays
2. Recommendations issued on controversial Ashley procedure for disabled children
3. K-State receives patent for noncontroversial source of stem cells
4. Review Panel Leaves Controversial Lyme Disease Guidelines Unchanged
5. Controversial urological issues top EAUs Anniversary Congress in Barcelona
6. Project Prevention Brings Controversial Sterilization Program to Honolulu
7. Scientists Discover Ultra-Bad Cholesterol
8. Experts Say Cholesterol Screenings Should Start in Childhood
9. Selenium Supplements Might Give Modest Benefit Against Cholesterol
10. Bad cholesterol not as bad as people think, shows Texas A&M study
11. Experts at Experimental Biology examine dietary cholesterol, egg intake and heart disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Controversial Cholesterol Drug Might Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has ... 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their ... Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart ... electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits ... structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Diagnostics The World Market for Companion Diagnostics ... diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: