WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A class of oral drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of heart failure, two Wake Forest University School of Medicine faculty members said.
Dr. Sonal Singh and Dr. Curt D. Furberg said in an editorial in the journal Heart that they strongly recommend restrictions in the use of thiazolidinediones -- the class of drugs used to control diabetes by lowering blood sugar -- and question the rationale for leaving rosiglitazone on the market. Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are the two major thiazolidinediones.
"At this time, justification for use of thiazolidinediones is very weak to non-existent," the authors said in a statement.
"We reported -- in the journal Diabetes Care -- in June 2007 that thiazolidinediones doubled the risk of congestive heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes -- the increased heart failure appears to be a class effect."
About 22 percent of diabetics have heart disease. Among elderly patients with diabetes, more than half will develop congestive heart failure over a 10-year period, the editorial said.