Researchers found that diabetics who take Jardiance have a 38 percent risk of dying from the said cardiovascular problems.
Other drugs also have additional health benefits beside normalizing blood sugar levels but none of them managed to cut mortality risk from heart disease in diabetes patients.
Study participants were monitored three years. During this period, investigators also found that Jardiance users had a 35 percent lower risk of being hospitalized in the wake of a major cardiovascular event than those in the control group. Additionally, Jardiance cut by 32 percent the risk of dying from all causes.
Clinicians and diabetes researchers alike were impressed by the new findings.
“It’s an amazing result; very unexpected and wonderful news,”
wrote in an e-mail Dr. Christopher P. Cannon of Women’s Hospital in Boston who had no association with the research.
Dr. Cannon explained that other diabetes medications only improve metabolic function but they don’t have a positive effect on patients’ heart health. On the contrary, some diabetes drugs may even increase risk of stroke and heart attack on the long run.
Steven Nissen, a researcher with Cleveland Clinic who persuaded the FDA panel to take into account cardiovascular disease risks when assessing the safety of diabetes medications, said that Jardiance is the first diabetes medication that prevents heart disease and death.
Jardiance was approved by the FDA in 2014, but trials have been conducted ever since to see whether there are other health benefits to it than reining in diabetes. The price of the drug, however, may be prohibitive to many but its makers hope that the newly found health benefit would boost its popularity among clinicians.
The recent study also showed that one in 39 diabetics could avoid premature death from heart disease with help from the new diabetes drug. Researchers argued that their drug may be as effective as statins, a class of cholesterol lowering drugs, and better than many blood pressure medications in fighting off severe cardiovascular events.
But statins and blood pressure drugs are already extremely popular among diabetes patients. So, an all-in-one pill would be more than welcome.
In the U.S. alone, 23.6 million adults live with type 2 diabetes, which is mainly caused by weight problems. But diabetes patients also have a 5 fold to 8 fold risk of developing a heart disease or having a deadly heart attack or stroke.
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