Sunday September 15, 2019

Diabetes Medication to Reduce Heart Disease Shows Promise: Researchers

The results are applicable primarily to dapagliflozin, which was the predominant SGLT2 inhibitor used in Scandinavia during the study period

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diabetes
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women and claims 2.1 million female lives every year, more so than men. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have shed light on how a class of medications that help regulate blood sugar for patients with Type 2 diabetes can also protect from heart disease.

The findings published in the journal Cell Metabolism, focus on the effect of diabetes medication — empagliflozin — on cell repair in blood vessels and the resulting risks of heart disease.

Empagliflozin is a medication that falls under a category of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors, which lower blood sugar.

“We have seen large-scale clinical trials giving us clear evidence that SGLT2 inhibitors can also protect our patients who have diabetes from heart disease,” said Indian-origin researcher and study author Subodh Verma from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada.

The research suggests that circulating progenitor cells — which are found in the bone marrow and play a role in heart health — along with inflammatory cells are regulated with this diabetes medication.

For patients who have diabetes are at the risk of heart disease, such medications may provide heart protection by relieving damaged cells that would otherwise perpetuate heart disease by causing faulty vessel repair.

Diabetes
According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes. Pixabay

Using blood samples from the EMPA-HEART CardioLink-6 Trial, the research team was able to show that in diabetes, regenerative progenitor cells were reduced.

Patients who took empagliflozin, however, these progenitor cells were restored later.

“We found that in people with diabetes, not only were beneficial progenitor cells increased but we saw indications of reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, which can also contribute to cardiovascular disease,” said David Hess, Associate Professor at Western University.

According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes.

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Earlier a research from Karolinska Institute in Sweden said that the new type of drugs for type 2 diabetes — SGLT2 inhibitors — are associated with a reduced risk of heart failure by 34 per cent.

The results are applicable primarily to dapagliflozin, which was the predominant SGLT2 inhibitor used in Scandinavia during the study period. (IANS)

Next Story

Low-Cost Text Messaging Programme Improves Blood Sugar Control in Patients with Diabetes

Capitalising on the exponential growth in mobile phone usage over the past decade, a simple text messaging programme could increase the reach

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Diabetes, Messaging, Blood Sugar
The effect in this study was not only statistically significant but also has the potential to be clinically relevant by reducing risk of diabetic complications and death. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a low-cost text messaging programme improves blood sugar control in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease.

“The effect in this study was not only statistically significant but also has the potential to be clinically relevant by reducing risk of diabetic complications and death,” said study researcher Xiqian Huo from Fuwai Hospital in China.

“Capitalising on the exponential growth in mobile phone usage over the past decade, a simple text messaging programme could increase the reach of diabetes self-management support,” she added.

It may provide a means to better address the burgeoning healthcare demand-capacity imbalance.

Diabetes, Messaging, Blood Sugar
Researchers have found that a low-cost text messaging programme improves blood sugar control in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease. Pixabay

For the study presented at the ESC Congress 2019 in France, the researchers enrolled 502 patients from 34 clinics in China and the patients were randomly assigned to the text messaging intervention or a control group for six months.

The intervention group received six messages per week, at random times of the day, from an automated system set up by the researchers.

The messages were designed to provide information and motivation and help patients set goals and manage stress.

The control group received two thank you text messages per month.

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At six months, blood glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to the control group (6.7 per cent versus 7.2 per cent).

On an average, HbA1c fell by 0.2 per cent in the intervention group and rose by 0.1 per cent in the control group – a difference of 0.3 per cent between groups.

The change in fasting blood glucose was larger in the intervention, compared to control, group (-0.5 versus 0.1 mmol/L, respectively).

The intervention was acceptable to participants, 97 per cent found the text messages useful, readable and an appropriate method of contact. (IANS)