Diabetes drug helpful for heart attacks and strokes

Diabetes drug helpful for heart attacks and strokes

Physicians find that pioglitazone reduces cardiovascular disease
Diabetes is a disease that severely affects the lives of those affected. Diabetes can cause serious complications. So it is not surprising that researchers are working on medications to treat this condition. Scientists have now discovered that an anti-diabetes medication can also help lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Sometimes researchers discover that medications for certain diseases also have an effect on other diseases. Doctors from Yale University recently found in a study that the drug pioglitazone can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Usually this drug is used for diabetes. The scientists published the results of their investigation in the medical journal "New England Journal of Medicine".

Pioglitazone reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases by nine percent
The drug pioglitazone is usually used for diabetes, but it seems that it can do much more. The drug helps lower the risk of stroke and heart attack, the researchers say. These are one of the main causes of disability and death worldwide. The scientists examined almost 4,000 subjects who were not diagnosed with diabetes. However, the test subjects had been resistant to insulin for five years and received either pioglitazone or a placebo. When subjects received the placebo, they were 11.8 percent likely to have either a stroke or a heart attack. This value was nine percent lower when the test subjects received the drug, experts say.

Pioglitazone prevents stroke or heart attack in three out of a hundred people
When the subjects took pioglitazone, their likelihood of developing diabetes also decreased. About four percent of the people who used the drug fell ill with diabetes. When the subjects received the placebo, seven percent developed diabetes, the doctors explain. Pioglitazone was developed as a therapy to improve insulin sensitivity, the scientists explain. The drug can prevent cardiovascular events in patients suffering from insulin resistance along with cerebrovascular disease, the experts explain. Using pioglitazone in 100 patients over a period of about five years could prevent a stroke or heart attack in three patients.

However, the anti-diabetes medication appears to increase the risk of broken bones
Scientists have long known that insulin resistance increases our risk of stroke and heart attack. The new study also shows the other benefits of taking medication for insulin resistance, which can help prevent dangerous strokes and heart attacks, the doctors explain. For years there has been controversy as to whether pioglitazone helps against such diseases. Now the cardiovascular benefits have finally been proven, says Dr. Silvio Inzucchi, from “Yale University”. The so-called metabolic therapy can now take its place alongside aspirin and cholesterol and blood pressure lowering agents to prevent strokes in non-diabetic patients, explains the doctor. The study also found risks related to taking the medication. The drug appears to increase the risk of bone fracture, which requires either hospitalization or surgery. Weight gain and edema have also been observed in patients, says Dr. Incucchi. Despite the side effects, the study identifies pioglitazone as a new prevention option, the expert adds. (As)

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