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Salsalate May Improve Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers point to potential new avenue for treatment but drug's safety needs more research

THURSDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Salsalate improves markers of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and may provide a new avenue for the treatment of the disease, subject to further research on the drug's renal and cardiac impact, according to a study in the March 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Allison B. Goldfine, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 108 patients aged 18 to 75 years with type 2 diabetes, 27 of whom were each assigned to received 3.0, 3.5 or 4.0 g/day salsalate or placebo for 14 weeks, as well as their existing therapy.

Compared to the placebo group, the researchers found that more of the patients in the three salsalate treatment arms had reductions in hemoglobin A1c of 0.5 percent or more from baseline. The three salsalate groups also had improvements in other markers of glycemic control, as well as circulating triglyceride and adiponectin. However, patients also taking sulfonylureas had a higher incidence of mild hypoglycemia, and participants in all three treatment arms had higher urine concentrations of albumin, the investigators discovered.

"The drug's long-term safety in this population, and particularly its effects on renal function, require further investigation," the authors write. "Because of salsalate's anti-inflammatory effects, our results suggest that inflammation plays a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and that anti-inflammatory therapy may therefore be useful for treating diabetes."

One author reported financial relationships with various pharmaceutical companies.

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