Popular diabetes drugs double fracture risk among women

December 10th, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 10 (IANS) Long-term use of popular oral diabetic drugs doubles the risk of fractures in women with type-2 diabetes, according to a new study. “We knew going into this study that there was an association between thiazolidinediones (TZDs) and fracture risk, however the magnitude of risk had not been evaluated,” said Sonal Singh, assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and co-researcher for the study.

“This study shows that these agents double the risk of fractures in women with type 2 diabetes, who are already at higher risk before taking the therapy.”

In absolute terms, Singh said, if TZDs are used by elderly, postmenopausal women (around 70 years) with type 2 diabetes for one year, one additional fracture would occur among every 21 women.

Among younger women (around 56 years), use of the drugs for one year or longer would result in one additional fracture for every 55 women.

TZDs are oral medications given to control diabetes by lowering blood sugar. The two currently available drugs in this class are rosiglitazone, marketed as AvandiaTM by GlaxoSmithKline, and pioglitazone, marketed as ActosTM by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

For the study, researchers reviewed 10 previously completed trials that lasted at least one year, said a Wake Forest release.

All of the studies included participants with impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes, and all compared the risk of fracture among patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking TZD therapy and patients not taking the therapy.

Nearly 14,000 participants were included in the studies. Data was broken down by gender in five of the studies.

In 2006, there were nearly four million patients in US, taking TZDs, half of whom were likely women, Singh said.

The findings appear online on the website for Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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