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Latest Study on Diabetes Drug Avandia Finds No Heart Risks
Date:6/29/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- In direct contrast to research reported on Monday, a new study concludes there is no increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death by taking the diabetes drug Avandia.

This latest finding even suggests that rosiglitazone (Avandia) might be associated with a slightly lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death in certain settings, compared to people not taking either Avandia or pioglitazone (Actos), the other drug in a class of diabetes medications known as thiazolidinediones (TZDs).

"Our observational study does not suggest a significant cardiovascular hazard and may suggest a beneficial effect on ischemic cardiovascular events associated with treatment with rosiglitazone among patients with type 2 diabetes and established coronary artery disease," said Dr. Richard Bach, an associate professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Bach presented the findings at a news conference late Monday afternoon, during the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

But on Monday morning, two other major studies came out with findings showing that Avandia increased the risk of cardiovascular trouble when compared to both a placebo and to Actos. Those studies appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives of Internal Medicine.

All of these findings will no doubt be hotly debated at a July meeting of U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panels that will recommend whether Avandia -- which has already weathered years of controversy -- should stay on the market.

In 2007, the FDA slapped a warning on Avandia's label after a meta-analysis showed that users faced an increased risk of heart attack and death from cardiovascular problems.

Although this latest study is much smaller than those presented Monday morning, the findings
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