Thursday, May 24, 2007

Surprise! Surprise! Diabetes Drug increases chances of Heart Attacks!

Last Tuesday a study released from a Cleveland Clinic linked a popular diabetes drug to heart attacks. The drug, called Avandia from drug maker Glaxo Smith Kline, significantly increases the risk of heart attack and death, according to the report.

Millions (only Glaxo Smith Kline knows how many millions) of type-two diabetics now take the drug to help control blood sugar.

Wow. Imagine that - a drug that has side effects. Guess that's not a huge surprise, but given that heart disease is actually a leading cause of death among diabetics it makes you wonder both 1: just how the heck can a drug company get this thing to market?; and 2: why the very department (Food and Drug Administration) in place to prevent this type of market risk didn't catch the seemingly overwhelming side effect evidence?

And this is not insignificant evidence:

Dr. Steven Nissan, the Cleveland Clinic physician authoring the report states that "Avandia appeared to increase the risk of heart attack by 43% and the risk of cardiovascular death by 64%." Whoa! Those are pretty big numbers.

As is usual when the dollars spent on this type of 'medication' are concerned (remember the Merck recall of the widely used Vioxx back in 2004?), Glaxo Smith Kline, is standing by the safety of its product and the Food and Drug Administration says they'll "investigate."

Doctors, the New England Journal of Medicine adds, should use caution before prescribing this medication. And so, while Glaxo is "standing by," a few thousand more diabetics will dropping dead from Avandia.

But here's the clincher:

Widely recognized to both reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the hormonal imbalances diabetics face, REGULAR EXERCISE AND WEIGHT LOSS could & should be the 1st thing doctors prescribe!

Sigh. Will there every be a day when the medical community simply says: go loose the 50#, and come see me in 6 months .... before putting a patient on drugs?

Visit Fitness Together for more information about starting up on improving your health.

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