39% Increase in Heart Attack Risk with Diabetes Drug

A common drug used to treat type-2 diabetes has been shown to boost the risk of heart attack by an astounding 39%. This revelation comes after extensive research into the possible dangers of this drug.

The comment, published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, accompanies a large analysis of 56 trials involving more than 35,000 patients that found an increased risk of heart attack of up to 39 per cent in patients taking Avandia compared with those in the control group.

A US Food and Drug Administration meeting on July 13 will review the safety of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug, also known generically as rosiglitazone.

Initial doubts over the drug’s safety emerged in 2007 when an analysis showed it was associated with a higher risk of heart attack, but warnings subsequently ordered by the FDA and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration said the data was inconclusive.

Earlier this year a US Senate report, which followed a two-year inquiry, said GlaxoSmithKline knew of the drug’s possible heart attack risk years before the evidence became public.

They said even a modest increase in the risk of heart attack in a diabetic population would have “serious consequences”, as cardiovascular disease was the cause of 68 per cent of all deaths in patients with type-2 diabetes.

The researchers said the mechanisms by which Acandia could cause cardiovascular harm were unclear, but could involve increases in lipoprotein (cholesterol).

GlaxoSmithKline maintains that there is no statistically significant association between Avandia and heart attacks.

Emed’s Comment:

So a 39 per cent increase of heart attacks has been found in people taking the drug – but GlaxoSmithKline still maintain that the drug is safe? Sound’s like their in denial.

Type-2 diabetics already have a 68% higher chance of heart attacks even without medication. So for the 80,000 Australian type-2 diabetics who also take Avandia, you are now 107% more likely to suffer a potentially-fatal heart attack. Good news it is not. Time to start reducing your chance of a heart attack.

Reducing the severity or even reversing type-2 diabetes isn’t as easy as reducing your sugar intake. There are many aspects to this illness that must be addressed. Here are some good places to start.

  • Food. Reduce your consumption of high-carbohydrate, starchy foods like bread, potatoes, cereals, rice and pasta. These foods cause an insulin spike – not a good thing for a diabetic. Consume a high fibre, whole food diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, lean meats and fish. Remove processed and junk food from your diet. Read ‘Health Promoting Nutrition’ for more information.
  • Start exercising. In most cases, reducing the amount of fat on your body can help with type-2 diabetes In addition to decreasing body fat, regular exercise does have a beneficial effect, improving insulin sensitivity. Read ‘Stretching and Exercise’ for more information.
  • Supplement with vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals such as B-group vitamins, vitamin C, vitmain E, magnesium and zinc are important nutrients for our body, and type-2 diabetics tend to have low levels. In addition to promoting good health, these vitamins and minerals have shown to help reduce damage to the eyes, nerves and kidneys – health problems that are often experienced by people with advanced or long term diabetes. Refer to Emed’s Best Multivitamins for a full range of top-quality natural multivitamins.
  • Get more vitamin D. Adequate amounts of vitamin D can increase insulin levels in some people. 75% of us are Vitamin D deficient, so it’s important to get tested and supplement. Find out your exact Vitamin D levels by taking the Emed Vitamin D test, or visit Emed’s Best Vitamin D supplements for a range of premium and effective vitamin D supplements.
  • Chromium for insulin sensitivity. Chromium helps improve glucose tolerance by increasing our body’s sensitivity to insulin. Try Eagle Pharmaceuticals Chrome for a gentle, yet effective formula.
  • Use an antioxidant. Normally our bodies act as natural antioxidants, however in diabetics this natural action can be disturbed. It is important to increase the consumption of antioxidant foods (like brightly coloured vegetables) and to take an antioxidant supplement, like Bioceuticals AntiOx Excel.
  • Get Your Family Involved. Encourage your family to adopt healthy habits, like regular exercise and healthy eating. Turn off the TV, and go for a walk. Take your kids with you when walking the dog. Teaching them healthy habits early could prevent them from developing type-2 diabetes.

Further Reading: