Avandia and Heart Attack Risk

Written by Bonnie Sanders Polin PhD

March brings the beginning of spring, so get your gardening clothes ready. If you are not sure about the exercise value of gardening, please read this article. Make sure that you drink lots of fresh water if the weather is hot and place your glucometer in your pocket, along with glucose tablets. Wear gloves to protect your hands and take regular breaks.

Avandia and Heart Attack Risk
You may have read the FDA report connecting the diabetes drug Avandia to an increased risk for heart attack and failure. This medication was once extremely popular, but its use has gone down appreciably since 2 drug safety officials from the FDA suggested that this medication be pulled from the market a few years ago. But in 2007, the FDA allowed the medication to remain on the market with an additional boxed warning on the box.

The FDA currently has not acted to withdraw the medication and is still trying to decide whether the research backs the headlines. They suggest that you continue to take the medication if your physician recommends it. We all know that there are risks and benefits of all medications and you need to weigh these.

To read the FDA report, click here.

Type 1 Danger for Children in Great Britain
Diabetes UK reported that 3,300 children with type 1 diabetes were admitted to an emergency room in Great Britain with diabetic ketoacidosis in 2009. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a product of high blood glucose levels, and if not treated, it can lead to coma or death.

Diabetes UK is calling for better healthcare for people with diabetes and earlier diagnosis of the disease. Just to highlight the point, the UK has the fourth largest percentage of children with type 1 diabetes in Europe and the worst diabetic control.

Read this article for more information.

Anti-depressant Effectiveness in People with Type 2 Diabetes
Our final headline, "Antidepressant pharmacotherapy in adults with type 2 diabetes" by Ryan J. Anderson, BA et al, comes from the March issue of Diabetes Care.

This caught our attention because of the noted higher incidence of depression in people with diabetes, and we wondered what anti-depressants would and wouldn't work in this population.

The researchers examined 2 published trials looking for markers that would impair treatment effectiveness. The researchers looked at age, sex, race, the scores of a Beck Depression Inventory given to each participant (a scientific test that measures depress), family history of depression, diabetes complications, and A1c levels. The participants took either Zoloft or Wellbutrin—both are anti-depressants.

Slightly more that 85% were deemed to have improvement with treatment. Of those, 179 were deemed to have reached full remission. The factors that predicted a poor outcome were taking the medication Zoloft rather than Wellbutrin.

Also worth noting is that younger age and diabetes complications impaired the ability to go into remission. The researchers concluded that in addition to anti-depressant medication, the treatment of pain and its impairment may be important in treating these patients.