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Avandia Study Shows 60 Percent Increase in Heart Failure Risk Among Diabetics who Take the Drug

Monday, July 28, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Avandia, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Seniors who take the popular Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia have a 60 percent higher risk of heart failure than patients who take other diabetes medications, according to a new data analysis conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science in Toronto and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Our study suggests that at least in this high-risk population, the harms of the drug may outweigh the benefits," lead author Lorraine L. Lipscombe said.

Researchers conducted an analysis of the health data for 159,000 people over the age of 64 who had been treated for Type 2 diabetes in the Ontario public health system, including 2,268 who had been given Avandia. Patients treated with Avandia had a 60 percent higher heart failure risk, 40 percent higher risk of experiencing a heart attack, and a 30 percent higher chance of dying during the study period than patients given other oral diabetes drugs.

This means that for every 100 people taking Avandia, there would be five more deaths, four more heart attacks and three more heart failure episodes over the course of four years than if those people had not taken the drug.

The results are consistent with the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May that eventually led the FDA to add a black box warning about the risks of heart failure to the label for Avandia. In that study, a meta-analysis of a variety of different clinical trials found that patients who took Avandia had a 42 percent higher risk of experiencing a heart attack.

After the New England Journal of Medicine study, the FDA called the evidence against Avandia "inconclusive," and declined to ban it, strengthening warning labels on the drug instead.

In response to the newest study, the FDA said, "This new study we have just seen today does not change FDA's recommendations."

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