A diabetes drug found effective for prevention of recurrent stroke

Emobileclinic Health News


Emobileclinic Reporter: Femi Fayomi

A study presented at the just concluded International stoke Conference reveals lower risk of recurrent stroke or myocardial infarction among non-diabetic insulin- resistance patients who used pioglitazone for a period of 5 years against those who did not use it. Pioglitazone is a drug  treatment for diabetes and the study shows that when is used by non diabetes patients that had earlier been stroke, a  risk reduction of recurrent stroke is envisaged among other benefits.


It is said to contain active treatment that cuts in half the risk of diabetes as it reduces blood sugar, systemic inflammation, triglyceride levels, and systolic blood pressure. It favorably increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol but also increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as observed in the recent study.

The researchers gathered 3,876 non- diabetes patients who had been stroke  on this ”Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke (IRIS) trial” and screened for positive insulin resistance using a simple fasting blood test. They were grouped into two to either receive pioglitazone or other treatments . The risk was lower by 24% in the diabetes drug users than those who did not use it. 175 of the 1,939 patients in the pioglitazone group against 228 of 1,937 had a stroke at the end of the study. There were also other significant changes in secondary outcomes for instance the rate of progression to diabetes was 3.8 percent in the pioglitazone group compared with 7.7 percent in the controls.
Remarkably the risk was also found more lower when compared with  those on statin therapy or aspirin, said the lead author, Walter N. Kernan, MD, a professor of general medicine at Yale School of Medicine. He commented that ”this is the first study to show that pioglitazone could have vascular benefits in a non-diabetic population. The treatment of insulin resistance offers a potentially new preventive strategy to help reduce the risk for recurrent stroke or heart attack,” he said.

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The study received massive credits by various specialists and many feel this will replace other drugs with time and most especially as it lower incidence of heart attacks in the study. Dr. Ralph L Sacco said, this is a very important study that opens up the possibility of a new medical therapy to prevent recurrent ischemic stroke;he is the MD, FAAN, chairman and professor of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and president-elect of the AAN. He believes the study ”shows that treating insulin resistance can reduce the risk of stroke”. According to him, ”none of the prior prevention studies in diabetes have shown that controlling blood sugar could reduce vascular events like stroke,” he comments.

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The lead author ,Walter N. Kernan, MD, however noticed that 52% of people on pioglitazone gained at least 4.5kg to 13.5 kg in 5 years which was more compared to the placebo group.

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