Can diabetes medication protect against heart problems?

11 March 2013

Heart problems are common among the UK population but it is thought that a class of diabetes medications could help to lower risk of heart failure.

According to a study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, people with high blood sugar on GLP-1 medications (glucagon-like peptide-1 analogs and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors) are less likely to be hospitalised for heart failure than those not taking the drugs.

Dr David Lanfear, lead author of the study, stated: "Diabetic adults die of heart disease two to four times more than those without diabetes.

"Our study data suggest that diabetic patients taking a particular class of medications are less likely to develop heart failure."

During the retrospective study of 4,427 diabetic patients, it was observed that out of 184 hospitalisations for heart failure, the majority were patients not on GLP-1 medications; once the results were adjusted for gender, age, race, coronary disease, heart failure, duration of diabetes and the number of anti-diabetic medications a patient was taking.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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