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[IP] Diabetes Drug Slows Clogging of Arteries

Diabetes Drug Slows Clogging of Arteries

Actos better at fighting plaque build-up than older medication, study finds

By Amanda Gardner

Posted 3/31/08

MONDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- The diabetes drug Actos is better than
another diabetes drug, Amaryl, at slowing clogging of the arteries in
patients with both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Cleveland Clinic researchers behind the new findings say this is the
first time that a diabetes medication has been shown to slow
atherosclerosis, giving doctors new insight into which drugs may be most
effective and safest for this group of patients.

"As we go forward, the study tells us that we must do comparative
effectiveness trials looking at different diabetes strategies," study author
Steve Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at
Cleveland Clinic, said Monday. "We can't just focus on pricking your finger,
getting blood sugar down. The goal in diabetes therapy is to prevent
complications, and the most feared complication is heart disease, which will
kill 75 percent of all diabetics. I'm thrilled with results."

Another expert hailed the results.

"The biggest news here is that pioglitazone [Actos] appears safe, does not
increase cardiovascular risk, and may even reduce it," said Dr. Robert Scott
III, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Texas A&M Health
Science Center College of Medicine and senior staff cardiologist with
Scott&White in Temple, Texas. "It looks safe to use in people with coronary
artery disease, and it is well-tolerated. We may need another trial to see
how it helps, but at least it doesn't hurt, and that was our biggest
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