Insulin Sensitizer Protects Against Heart Attacks

NOVEMBER 01, 2005
Susan Farley

A large clinical study found that the diabetes drug pioglitazone reduced the combined risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death, in addition to lowering blood sugar levels. The study compared the drug against conventional therapy in 5200 high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes and found that the drug made the body's cells more sensitive to insulin. Pioglitazone belongs to a class of drugs known as insulin sensitizers, which include Actos, manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, and GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia. The results of this study indicate that 10 to 11 heart attacks, strokes, or deaths could be prevented for every 500 high-risk patients who are treated with pioglitazone over a 3-year period.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.