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Cleveland Clinic Study Shows the Diabetes Drug Pioglitazone Reduces Risk of Death, Heart Attack and Stroke, but Increases Risk of Heart Failure
Date:9/11/2007

Results Appear in the Sept. 12 Issue of the Journal of the American Medical

Association

CLEVELAND, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A drug widely used to treat type 2 diabetes has been found to reduce the risk of death, heart attack (myocardial infarction) or stroke when used alone or in combination with other therapies for diabetes, according to a Cleveland Clinic study.

The study published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that use of pioglitazone (Actos(TM)) is associated with a significantly lower risk of death, myocardial infarction, or stroke among a diverse population of diabetic patients.

In a meta-analysis of 19 trials comprising 16,390 patients, researchers found that 4.4% (375) of the 8,554 patients prescribed pioglitazone either died or suffered a heart attack or stroke compared 5.7% (450) of 7,836 patients in a control group who received a placebo or other anti-diabetic therapy.

The study also showed that patients receiving pioglitazone were more likely to experience fluid retention leading to serious heart failure, although this risk did not diminish the favorable effect of the drug on cardiac death or heart attack. Investigation of the cardiovascular effects of anti-diabetic therapies is critical because more than 65% of the deaths among diabetic patients are attributed to heart disease.

"The findings in this study suggest that pioglitazone provides cardiovascular benefits to diabetic patients beyond its effect on lowering blood sugar, with important reductions in the risk of death, heart attack or stroke among patients who receive this drug," said A. Michael Lincoff, M.D., Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. "Similarly, the results indicate that the potential for serious heart failure does not diminish the drug's overall effectiveness and benefit to patients."

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SOURCE Cleveland Clinic
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