Heart failure is a common occurrence for patients with type 2 diabetes. It has a major impact on one's life expectancy and quality of life as well as represents a major driver of healthcare costs. The sugar lowering medications used to manage diabetes often cause weight gain. Researchers have found that for every one kilogram of weight gain attributed to a sugar-lowering diabetes medication or strategy, there was an associated 7% increased risk of heart failure directly linked to that medication or strategy.
Dr. Jacob Udell, the study's principal investigator, and cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN) and Women's College Hospital (WCH), said, "Patients randomized to new or more intensive blood sugar-lowering drugs or strategies to manage diabetes showed an overall 14% increased risk for heart failure and this increased risk was directly associated with the type of diabetes therapy that was chosen, with some drugs more likely to cause heart failure than others, compared with placebo or standard care."
Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN), said, "The results of this study could prove to be the catalyst for how diabetes patients at risk for heart disease were managed moving forward and as the number one global killer, and the second leading cause of death in Canada, the growing burden of heart disease was in many respects impacting patients, families and the health-care system in ways that were unsustainable."
The study is published in the current issue of The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology