Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Diabetes drug linked in study to heart risk

From the Toronto Star:
A massive "real world" study of the popular diabetes drug Avandia shows it can produce distressing increases in the risks of heart attacks and death, according to Ontario research published yesterday.

And a key study author says the research, which followed some 160,000 diabetics in this province for more than four years, should cause Health Canada to consider new restrictions on its use.

The drug – prescriptions for which are filled more than a million times a year in this country – can increase the risks of heart failure by 60 per cent and of heart attacks by 40 per cent over other medications meant to control Type 2 diabetes, the study says.

"Our study is the first one done in a real-world population that really supports that these drugs are associated with a higher risk of cardiac events," says lead author Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe.

"We hope that the experts at Health Canada will consider our study ... and make some new decisions about the future of these drugs," says Lipscombe, a researcher with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. ...more

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