Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes
Steven E. Nissen, M.D., Kathy Wolski, M.P.H.,, New England Journal of Medicine, 5-21-07

Nissen and his colleagues perform a meta–analsysis on published clinical trial data on the diabetes drug Avandia and conclude that it may be associated with a 43% increase in heart attack risk for some patients.

We conducted searches of the published literature, the Web site of the Food and Drug Administration, and a clinical–trials registry maintained by the drug manufacturer (GlaxoSmithKline). Criteria for inclusion in our meta–analysis included a study duration of more than 24 weeks, the use of a randomized control group not receiving rosiglitazone, and the availability of outcome data for myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular causes. Of 116 potentially relevant studies, 42 trials met the inclusion criteria. We tabulated all occurrences of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular causes.

Data were combined by means of a fixed–effects model. In the 42 trials, the mean age of the subjects was approximately 56 years, and the mean baseline glycated hemoglobin level was approximately 8.2%. In the rosiglitazone group, as compared with the control group, the odds ratio for myocardial infarction was 1.43 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03 to 1.98; P=0.03), and the odds ratio for death from cardiovascular causes was 1.64 (95% CI, 0.98 to 2.74; P=0.06).

[We conclude that] Rosiglitazone was associated with a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction and with an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes that had borderline significance. Our study was limited by a lack of access to original source data, which would have enabled time–to–event analysis. Despite these limitations, patients and providers should consider the potential for serious adverse cardiovascular effects of treatment with rosiglitazone for type 2 diabetes.

Project FDA.
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