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Diabetes drug decreases chances of heart attacks, strokes, says study


A new study has shown that a new diabetes drug, Jardiance, will decrease the possibility of diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease to suffer or die of heart attack, stroke or heart failure, Los Angeles Times reports.  

Jardiance's sponsors, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co., conducted the new study, called the EMPA-REG outcome trial, on orders from the FDA. The results were presented to a meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Under the study, the researchers gave one group of participants a dose of drug empagliflozin, marketed as Jardiance, to their diabetes medications and the others a placebo medication. The study found that those clinical trial subjects who took Jardiance were 38 percent less likely to suffer a fatal or nonfatal "cardiovascular death" during the three years that the subjects were put under observation.

The study also revealed that those taking Jardiance were 35 percent less likely to have a heart failure than were subjects who took a placebo pill instead. They were also 32 percent less likely to die of any cause.

"It's an amazing result, very unexpected and wonderful news," said Dr. Christopher P. Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved with the study.

Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Steven Nissen hailed the new findings as a "blockbuster result."

"This is the first time ever that a diabetes drug has shown evidence of cardiovascular benefit," said Nissen.

Empagliflozen is the third of a new class of diabetes drugs that reduce blood sugar in diabetics by promoting its excretion in urine. Its cost is close to $800 per year.

The latest trial results are especially beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes as they are five to eight times more likely than the general population to develop cardiovascular disease, and, to suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke. Four in five of people with diabetes die of coronary heart disease due to accumulation of plaque in the arteries.


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