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Clinic: Avandia May Increase Cardiovascular Problems

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 2:01 PM

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A new study from the Cleveland Clinic published in this month's New England Journal of Medicine reveals the popular Type 2 diabetes drug, Avandia, may increase heart attack and other cardiovascular problems in patients. ideastream Health Reporter Lisa Ann Pinkerton has more.

GlaxcoSmithKline’s Avandia has been shown to control blood sugar quite well and has been taken by almost 6 million people worldwide since 1999. But an analysis of 42 clinical trials reveals a possible link between Avandia and death from cardiovascular causes. The study showed a 64% increase in the risk of cardiovascular death. The risk of heart attack increased by 43%.

Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiovascular surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, authored the study. He says his study is limited because no specific patient data was analyzed. Regardless, he says the data shows a correlation between increased risk and Avandia.

Steven Nissen: You see it when the drug is compared to a sugar pill, placebo, to metphorman, to insulin. You see it when it’s compared to any other diabetic medicine.

GlaxcoSmithKline says Nissen’s analysis is not definitive scientific proof. Dr. Nissen agrees and urges patients and doctors to examine the study before changing treatments. Lisa Ann Pinkerton, 90.3.

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