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Fenofibrate May Help Prevent Amputations in Diabetics

Treatment lowers risk of minor amputations without known large-vessel disease

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, fenofibrate may lower the risk of minor amputation, according to a study published in the May 23 issue of The Lancet.

Kushwin Rajamani, of the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues from the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes study randomly assigned 9,795 patients ages 50 to 75 years to receive either 200 milligrams per day of fenofibrate or placebo for five years.

Compared to controls, the researchers found that the fenofibrate group had a lower risk of a first amputation and minor amputation events without known large-vessel disease (hazard ratios, 0.64 and 0.53, respectively). However, they found that fenofibrate did not significantly reduce the risk of major amputations (hazard ratio, 0.93).

"These findings support the use of fenofibrate, irrespective of the presence of dyslipidemia, for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes who are at high risk for amputation (including those with peripheral vascular disease, existing microvascular complications, and a long duration of diabetes)," the authors conclude. "This approach could help to reduce the substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic burden associated with amputation due to diabetes."

The study was partially supported by Laboratoires Fournier SA (now part of Solvay Pharmaceuticals); two authors reported financial relationships with Fournier and Solvay.

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