AHA, ACC Release Statement on Safety of Diabetes Drugs

This advisory finds that data are inconclusive on heart risks associated with diabetes medications, but also notes that patients taking these drugs should be closely monitored by their healthcare providers.

A Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute cardiologist co-authored the joint science advisory issued by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology that calls for close monitoring of patients taking certain blood sugar-lowering drugs.

Sanjay Kaul, MD co-authored the advisory about drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) such as pioglitazone (Actos) or Rosiglitazone (Avandia). The advisory–published in Circulation and Journal of the American College of Cardiology–states that the data are inconclusive on heart risks associated with the medications, but all patients taking the drugs should be closely monitored by their healthcare providers.

The US Senate Finance Committee released a report earlier this month that called into question the safety of the diabetes drug rosiglitazone, citing the possibility of an increased incidence of adverse cardiovascular events. Resulting news coverage caused confusion among diabetes patients and their caregivers.

“”If you have diabetes, you do have an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events,” Kaul said. “But there simply is not enough data to conclude whether these drugs are a hindrance to cardiac health. Instead, I would encourage diabetes patients to follow the protocols their doctors have established to control their diabetes and to discuss their concerns with their doctors.”

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Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center