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Diabetes drugs "heart failure risk"

Experts claim that thousands of people across Britain who take certain diabetes drugs could have more than double the risk of heart failure.

Analysis of current studies by researchers in the US and UK found an increased risk for patients on Actos (pioglitazone) and Avandia (rosiglitazone).

The medicines have approval for use on the NHS from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to treat type 2 diabetes.

But scientists now say one in every 50 patients taking the drugs over a 26-month period will suffer heart failure.

The drugs are not recommended for people susceptible to heart failure, but the study suggests people who have never been considered a risk may have a greater chance of suffering from it.

More than 1.9 million people in the UK have type 2 diabetes and up to 750,000 more are unaware that they have it.

The research has been carried out by experts at the University of East Anglia and Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and is published in the journal Diabetes Care.

GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures Avandia, said heart failure is often associated with diabetes.

A spokesman added: "Any patient presenting to their doctor should be monitored as part of the treatment for that risk."

Diabetes Care


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