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Sulfonylureas for diabetes increase risk of heart disease and death, study finds December 7, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Big Pharma.

Sulfonylureas, the first family of oral drugs used for treating type 2 diabetes, increase the risk of death from all causes by as much as 61% compared with the newer drug metformin, British researchers have found. Some researchers have suspected that the drugs carry an increased risk, but the new study reported online in BMJ.com is the first to quantify the risks. BMJ.com is the website of BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.

The good news from the study is that the new family of drugs called thiazolidinediones is not associated with an increased risk and that one of them, pioglitazone, actually reduces risk by as much as 39% compared with metformin.

Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic status, with more than 180 million victims worldwide and nearly 24 million in the United States. It is most common among the elderly and is associated with obesity, but the growing incidence of obesity in youth is causing the disease to appear in an ever-younger population.  Diabetes by itself doubles the risk of heart disease, which complicates the task of identifying increased risks from drugs. U.S. guidelines call for using metformin as first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes, and the new results support that recommendation. Read More…


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