Antidiabetic Drugs Present and Future: Will Improving Insulin Resistance Benefit Cardiovascular Risk in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?

Campbell, I.W.
November 2000
Drugs;Nov2000, Vol. 60 Issue 5, p1017
Academic Journal
Results from the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study showed that intensive treatment of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus, with sulphonylureas or insulin, significantly reduced microvascular complications but did not have a significant effect on macrovascular complications after 10 years. Insulin resistance plays a key role in type 2 diabetes mellitus and is linked to a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors. Optimal treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus should aim to improve insulin resistance and the associated cardiovascular risk factors in addition to achieving glycaemic control. Treatment with sulphonylureas or exogenous insulin improves glycaemic control by increasing insulin supplies rather than reducing insulin resistance. Metformin and the recently introduced thiazolidinediones have beneficial effects on reducing insulin resistance as well as providing glycaemic control. There is evidence that, like metformin, thiazolidinediones also improve cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidaemia and fibrinolysis. Whether these differences will translate into clinical benefit remains to be seen. The thiazolidinediones rosiglitazone and pioglitazone have been available in the US since 1999 (with pioglitazone also being available in Japan). Both products are now available to physicians in Europe.


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