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Diabetes drug might hike heart risk

1:18pm, June 19, 2007

A popular prescription drug for type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes increases a person's risk of heart attack, an analysis of 42 clinical trials suggests.

The drug, called rosiglitazone or Avandia, is taken to lower blood sugar. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in 1999, and more than 11 million prescriptions were filled for it last year in the United States.

In the new analysis, researchers tabulated heart attacks among 15,560 people with diabetes who got rosiglitazone in various trials and 12,283 people who also had diabetes but didn't receive the drug.

There were 86 heart attacks in the rosiglitazone group and 72 in the control group. After statistical adjustment, that yields a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack among rosiglitazone users, says study coauthor Steven E. Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. He and his colleague Kathy Wolski report their find

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