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Actos Has Anti-Inflammatory Effect in Non-Diabetics

Pioglitazone plus statin has additive effect in non-diabetic patients with heart disease

TUESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of simvastatin and pioglitazone (Actos) reduces low-level inflammation in non-diabetic patients with heart disease, at least in patients without metabolic syndrome, according to a study in the Jan. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Markolf Hanefeld, M.D., Ph.D., from the GWT Center for Clinical Studies in Dresden, Germany, and colleagues randomly assigned 125 non-diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease and elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels to either simvastatin plus a placebo, pioglitazone plus a placebo, or simvastatin plus pioglitazone for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that simvastatin or pioglitazone alone reduced hs-CRP levels, with the combination treatment having an additive effect. The additive effect of pioglitazone in reducing hs-CRP was only significant in the subset of patients without metabolic syndrome. Pioglitazone-treated patients were at higher risk of peripheral edema and of moderate weight gain compared with those not taking the drug.

"We found that pioglitazone and simvastatin exerted anti-inflammatory effects in non-diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease and elevated hs-CRP," Hanefeld and colleagues conclude. "Our study is the first to show that combining pioglitazone with simvastatin in non-diabetic patients with increased cardiovascular risk resulted in an additive effect on low-grade inflammation, without a significant increase in adverse events."

The study was supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

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