Diabetes Drugs Associated with Heart Disease

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Diabetes Drugs Associated with Heart Disease

One common debate is whether diabetes medications increase the risk of heart disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires oral diabetes medicines to carry a warning regarding increased risk of heart attack.

Several studies have associated a diabetes drug, Rosiglitazone, with cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Rosiglitazone belongs to a class of anti-diabetic drugs knows as thiazolidinediones. The generic name of Rosiglitazone is Avandia. It is often referred to as an insulin sensitizer and used to treat people suffering from type2 diabetes.

Studies Suggest Avandia Poses a Higher Risk of Heart Ailments

According to two extensive studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients who consume Avandia face a higher risk of developing fatal heart ailments.

The study conducted by Dr. David Graham, the associate director of the FDA, examined the data collected from over 220,000 elderly diabetics in a Medicare health insurance program who were either on Avandia or other diabetes treatment. The study found that patients on Avandia face an increased risk of stroke, heart failure and death, as compared to those not consuming the drug.

The other study headed by Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in 2007 raised public concern about the adverse cardiovascular outcomes of Avandia. The researchers performed a meta-analysis of the data collected from 56 different studies. They compared data from 35,000 patients on diabetes treatment. It was found that patients consuming Avandia faced 33 percent more risk of having a heart attack as compared to patients on other treatments. Also, Avandia was associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular ailments.

Some of the other side effects of Avandia are upper respiratory tract infection, back pain, headache, fatigue, sinusitis, hypoglycemia, diarrhea and edema.

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