Glitazones 'raise the risk of heart failure'

Glitazones do not increase the risk of cardiovascular death, although they do heighten the likelihood of congestive heart failure, say US researchers.

These latest findings go against reports earlier this year that rosiglitazone increases the risk of MI by 43 per cent.

But a review of articles looking at rosiglitazone or pioglitazone showed the drugs increased the likelihood of congestive heart failure by 72 per cent.

However, an increased risk of death from a cardiovascular event was not linked to the drugs.

The meta-analysis included seven randomised double-blind clinical trials involving 20,191 people with prediabetes or type-2 diabetes.

Congestive heart failure is caused by progressive systolic or diastolic dysfunction of the left ventricle, say the researchers.

But in patients using thiazolidinediones (TZDs), congestive heart failure may be linked to fluid retention. This might mean a different risk profile to normal congestive heart failure.

Nevertheless, they said TZDs should not be given to diabetic patients with heart failure or cardiovascular disease.

Lancet 2007; 370: 1,129-36

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