Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Avandia treats diabetes but higher risk of heart attack

Avandia treats diabetes but higher risk of heart attack

An independent analysis of thousands of older people with diabetes found that those treated with the widely used drug Avandia had significantly elevated risks of heart attack and death.

The finding, published on Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association, could rekindle the debate about whether Avandia, a controversial treatment for Type 2 diabetes, should remain on the market. Earlier studies drew similar links between Avandia and cardiac risks.

The study analyzed drug use and health outcomes for 159,000 people age 65 and older treated for Type 2 diabetes in the government-run health system that provides medical care to all people in Ontario. Of those patients, 2,268 took Avandia.

The findings suggest that for every 100 people taking Avandia over a four-year period there would be five additional deaths, four additional heart attacks and three additional episodes of heart failure, Dr. Lipscombe said.

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