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Diabetes Drug Reduces Heart and Kidney Diseases

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A drug that lowers blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes also significantly reduces the risk of both cardiovascular and kidney disease, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers at The George Institute for Global Health found that the drug canagliflozin reduced the overall risk of cardiovascular disease by 14% and reduced the risk of hospitalisation due to heart failure by 33%. It also had a significant impact on the progression of renal disease.

Most diabetes drugs work by managing insulin levels, but canagliflozin is a relatively new type of drug that works by blocking the body’s reabsorption of sugar or glucose. This results in the release of more glucose in urine and a drop in glucose levels.

Prof Bruce Neal said the findings offered real hope to people suffering from type 2 diabetes. “Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer by far for people with type 2 diabetes. Our findings suggest that not only does canagliflozin significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, it also has many other benefits too. We found it also reduced blood pressure and led to weight loss.

“Type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly all over the world, and we need drugs that not only deal with glucose levels but that also protect the many millions of people from the very real risks of stroke and heart attack.”

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The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.