Elderly Diabetics Face Increased Heart Attack Risks from Avandia, Study Finds
Elderly patients who took the controversial anti-diabetes drug Avandia were more likely to suffer deadly congestive heart failure than patients who took a similar drug, a new study has found.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School tracked 28,361 diabetes patients for five years. Roughly half of the patients were treated with Avandia (generic rosiglitazone) while half received a competing drug, Actos (generic pioglitazone).
Researchers found that Avandia patients were 15 percent more likely to die and 13 percent more likely to suffer congestive heart failure than patients who took Actos.
In 2007, a federal scientific advisory panel reviewed Avandia, determined the drug was safe, and recommended that it remain on the market. However, despite that vote of confidence, sales of the drug have dropped amid news of a link to heart disease.
About one million Americans still take Avandia, which helps control blood sugar by increasing the bodyâ€™s sensitivity to insulin, often as part of a regimen that includes other diabetes medications.
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