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Double Duty: Diabetes drug protects reopened heart vessels

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12:05pm, June 18, 2003

A drug normally prescribed to hold blood sugar in check provides an unexpected benefit to heart patients, a new study from South Korea finds. In people who have undergone the blood vessel–opening procedure called angioplasty, the diabetes drug limits the propensity of vessels to close again, a chronic problem.

Moreover, this study and one done in the United States show that the drug, rosiglitazone, lowers blood concentrations of C-reactive protein, a compound that's been linked to heart problems.

Rosiglitazone, marketed as Avandia by GlaxoSmithKline of Philadelphia, is currently prescribed for type II, or adult-onset, diabetes because it helps insulin regulate how the body burns sugars (SN: 4/14/01, p. 238: Available to subscribers at Fatty Findings).

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