Life, Death, Food, and the Disease of Aging

Background: Rosiglitazone is widely used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, but its effect on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.

Methods: We conducted searched of the published literature, the Web site of the Food and Drug Administration, and a clinical-trials registry maintained by the drug manufacturer (GlaxoSmithKline). Criteria for inclusion in our meta-analysis included a study duration of more than 24 weeks, the use of a randomized control group not receiving rosiglitazonem and the availability of outcome data for myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular causes. Of 116 potentially relevant studies, 42 trials met the inclusion criteria. We tabulated all occurrences of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular causes.

Results: Data were combined by means of fixed-effects model. In the 42 trials, the mean age of the subjects was approximately 56 years, and the mean baseline glycated hemoglobin level was approximately 8.2%. In the rosiglitazone group, as compared with the control group, the odds ratio for myocardial infarction was 1.43 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03 to 1.98; P=0.03), and the odds ratio for death from cardiovascular causes was 1.64 (95% CI, 0.98 to 2.74; P=0.06).

Conclusions: Rosiglitazone was associated with a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction and with an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular caused that had borderline significance. Our studay was limited by a lack of access to original source data, which would have enabled time-to-event analysis. Despite these limitations, patients and providers should consider the potential for serious adverse cardiovascular effects of treatment with rosiglitaazone for type 2 diabetes.

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