Further HF concern in rosiglitazone use

The use of rosiglitazone in older diabetic patients can increase the risk of heart failure by 60 per cent, according to US research.

The findings add to concerns raised in May, when researchers showed rosiglitazone use was associated with a 63 per cent increased risk of death from a cardiovascular cause.

Data was analysed on 159,026 patients, aged 66 and over, who were treated for type-2 diabetes. Four-year follow up revealed that 7.9 per cent of patients had a hospital visit for heart failure and 19 per cent died of a cardiovascular cause.

Compared with other combination oral hypoglycaemic agent treatments, such as metformin, patients taking rosiglitazone had a 60 per cent increased risk of congestive heart failure, a 40 per cent increased risk of heart attack and a 29 per cent increased risk of cardiovascular death.

Dr Allastair Benbow, European medical director for GSK, the company that manufactures rosiglitazone (Avandia), said that there was a wealth of data to back up its use.

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