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Risk of heart problems from antidiabetes drugs is being overlooked, experts warn

They say the risk should monitored closely during clinical trials of glucose-lowering medication.

Image: blood sugar reading via Shutterstock

TRIALS OF GLUCOSE-LOWERING drugs are not taking potential heart risks into account, experts have warned.

In a review published today in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, a range of heart and diabetes experts have reviewed evidence showing a link between drugs used to treat diabetes and heart attacks.

There is already an increased risk of heart failure among those with diabetes.

They note that while ‘major adverse cardiovascular events’ such as cardiovascular death, heart attack, and stroke are all taken into account in clinical trials of the drugs, it is not seen as a key factor when accessing the associated health risks.

“Until heart failure is systematically evaluated in clinical trials, the cardiovascular safety of antidiabetes drugs will remain uncertain,” Professor John McMurray from the University of Glasgow, who led the study, said.

Fortunately, some trials in progress are taking heart failure into account as a secondary outcome. But many others are neglecting to report this important complication as a key trial outcome.

Diabetes Ireland say that the number of people with diabetes in Ireland is expected to hit 194,000 by 2015, a rise of 37 per cent from the 2007 figure.

They say one in eight people over 60 has diabetes.

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Nicky Ryan

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