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Diabetes Drugs Equal in Risk for Adverse Heart Events

Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone appear to carry same risk for adverse outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The diabetes drugs rosiglitazone and pioglitazone (Avandia and Actos, respectively) appear to be evenly matched when it comes to the risk for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), acute heart failure (AHF), and mortality in patients taking the drugs, according to research published online Aug. 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Debra A. Wertz, of HealthCore Inc. in Wilmington, Del., and colleagues examined data on 36,628 adult diabetes patients (mean age, 54 years) newly started on rosiglitazone or pioglitazone from 2001 to 2005. The primary outcome was time to the composite of AMI, AHF, or mortality. They used propensity score matching to control for possible confounders.

The researchers found no significant differences between the two groups for risk of the composite event. AMI, AHF, or death occurred in 602 (4.16 percent) of the patients receiving rosiglitazone, and 599 (4.14) of the patients receiving pioglitazone, with heart attack occurring in 96 and 121, heart failure occurring in 265 and 243, heart attack and heart failure occurring in 24 and 18, and death in 217 in each group.

"Further research to refine methodology, identify population segments potentially at elevated risk, and validate events/exposure using additional data elements such as medical charts and/or surveys is essential. Nevertheless, this study provides valuable results that contrast previously published observational data and adds to the body of evidence available for risk-benefit profile assessment of thiazolidinediones in the treatment of diabetes," the authors conclude.

The study was supported by WellPoint Inc.; six authors were employees of a subsidiary of WellPoint at the time the study was conducted.

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