This release highlights what the industry has suspected for a while, namely, that the glitazones used to treat diabetes may also have cardiovascular benefits. Quote:
"These study results support the growing body of evidence that, beyond its effects on blood glucose, pioglitazone may keep blood vessels healthy and prevent hardening of the arteries," noted principal investigator Thomas Forst, Professor for Internal Medicine, Institute for Clinical Research and Development in Mainz, Germany. "We are encouraged by these results because the benefits seen with pioglitazone could, theoretically, lead to an overall reduction in the incidence of heart attack and stroke for people with type 2 diabetes."
Even though some of these compounds (also known as PPAR gamma antagonists) have had their safety issues (liver issues), they are undoubtedly effective at improving insulin resistance. But, diabetics have a tendency to develop a variety of cardiovascular problems as well. Thus, having a single agent which improves diabetes AND reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease can be a tremendous benefit.
This study was conducted with pioglitazone, the active ingredient in the brand Actos (marketed by Takeda and Lilly). It will be interesting to see if similar results emerge with rosiglitazone (Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline) and other similar agents.