Washington: A new study has examined that glucose or sugar-lowering medications prescribed to patients with diabetes may pose an increased risk for the development of heart failure in these patients.
The study conducted at American College of Cardiology examined clinical trials of more than 95,000 patients and found that for every one kilogram of weight gain attributed to a sugar-lowering diabetes medication or strategy, there was an associated seven per cent increased risk of heart failure directly linked to that medication or strategy.
Dr. Jacob Udell, the study's principal investigator, and cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN) and Women's College Hospital (WCH), said that patients randomized to new or more intensive blood sugar-lowering drugs or strategies to manage diabetes showed an overall 14 per cent increased risk for heart failure and this increased risk was directly associated with the type of diabetes therapy that was chosen, with some drugs more likely to cause heart failure than others, compared with placebo or standard care.
Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN), asserted that the results of this study could prove to be the catalyst for how diabetes patients at risk for heart disease were managed moving forward and as the number one global killer, and the second leading cause of death in Canada, the growing burden of heart disease was in many respects impacting patients, families and the health-care system in ways that were unsustainable.
Heart failure is a common occurrence for patients with type 2 diabetes and has a major impact on one's life expectancy and quality of life as well as representing a major driver of healthcare costs.
The study is published in the current issue of The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.