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Popular class of diabetes drugs doubles risk of fractures in women
Date:12/9/2008

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. New findings out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of East Anglia show that long-term use of a popular class of oral diabetic drugs doubles the risk of fractures in women with type 2 diabetes.

The findings appear online today on the Web site for the Canadian Medical Association Journal and will appear in the January 6 issue.

"We knew going into this study that there was an association between thiazolidinediones and fracture risk, however the magnitude of risk had not been evaluated," said Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of internal medicine and a co-researcher for the study. "This study shows that these agents double the risk of fractures in women with type 2 diabetes, who are already at higher risk before taking the therapy."

In absolute terms, Singh said, if thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are used by elderly, postmenopausal women (around 70 years) with type 2 diabetes for one year, one additional fracture would occur among every 21 women. Among younger women (around 56 years), use of the drugs for one year or longer would result in one additional fracture for every 55 women.

TZDs are oral medications given to control diabetes by lowering blood sugar. The two currently available drugs in this class are rosiglitazone, marketed as AvandiaTM by GlaxoSmithKline, and pioglitazone, marketed as ActosTM by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

For the study, researchers reviewed 10 previously completed trials that lasted at least one year. All of the studies included participants with impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes, and all compared the risk of fracture among patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking TZD therapy and patients not taking the therapy. Nearly 14,000 participants were included in the studies. Data was broken down by gender in five of the studies.

Overall, the results showed that use of TZDs significantly increased the risk
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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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