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Torcetrapib Tied to Improved Glycemic Control in Diabetes

Addition of torcetrapib tied to lower plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c in atorvastatin-treated patients

WEDNESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Addition of torcetrapib to atorvastatin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with improved glycemic control, according to a study published online July 18 in Circulation.

Philip J. Barter, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues investigated the effects of inhibiting cholesteryl ester transfer protein with torcetrapib on glucose homeostasis in 15,067 participants of the Lipid Level Management to Understand its Impact in Atherosclerotic Events (ILLUMINATE) trial, of whom 6,661 had diabetes. Atorvastatin-treated participants were randomized to receive torcetrapib or placebo. The plasma glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance was measured in patients with and without diabetes.

The investigators found no differences between the two treatment groups at baseline. However, after three months, patients with diabetes taking torcetrapib and atorvastatin had significantly lower plasma glucose and insulin levels (by 0.34 and 11.7 µU/mL, respectively) than individuals taking atorvastatin alone. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance showed a significant decrease from 49.1 to 47.3 in the torcetrapib/atorvastatin group, but it increased in the atorvastatin group. The hemoglobin A1c level at six months was significantly lower in the torcetrapib/atorvastatin group than the atorvastatin group (7.06 versus 7.29 percent). The effects of torcetrapib were seen for up to 12 months. Lower glucose and insulin levels were seen in torcetrapib-treated patients without diabetes, but the effects were not as great as in those with diabetes.

"Treatment with torcetrapib improves glycemic control in atorvastatin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including Pfizer, which sponsored the ILLUMINATE trial, and partially funded the study.

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