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DIABETES VIDEO: Insulin Stimulating Drug Nateglinide Does Not Stave Off Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease
DIABETES VIDEO: Insulin Stimulating Drug Nateglinide Does Not Stave Off Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease

(April 21, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Regularly taking a medication that briefly stimulates the body to produce insulin does not stave off diabetes or cardiovascular disease among high risk individuals with impaired glucose tolerance, according to a trial published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Here is some information on impaired glucose tolerance:

•    Also known as prediabetes, it is a condition in which the body’s response to insulin is reduced

•    A sign of impaired glucose tolerance is a blood sugar level that is higher than normal, but not as high as it is among individuals with diabetes

•    Impaired glucose tolerance is an important risk factor for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Researchers representing the NAVIGATOR Study Group randomly assigned over 9,000 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance who also had cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease to take the drug nateglinide or a placebo up to three times a day. Nateglinide is a short-acting drug, usually taken before a meal, which stimulates the body to produce insulin.

After an average follow-up period of five years, about 35% of participants developed diabetes, regardless of whether they were taking the active drug or the placebo. The two groups were also similar with respect to the incidence of several consequences of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes, and the need to be hospitalized or undergo treatment for cardiovascular problems. Those taking nateglinide were more likely to experience excessively low blood sugar, however.

Today’s research suggests that short-acting drugs that help stimulate insulin production do not offer health benefits for high risk individuals who have impaired glucose tolerance.

 
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