According to a new international study, it would seem that a drug used for type 2 diabetes can prevent recurrent strokes. The study involved more than 3000 patients from 10 different countries, all of them having a history of heart strokes.
A team of medical researchers from the Yale University has discovered that a drug called Pioglitazone can be employed to directly treat the causes of ischemic strokes or transient ischemic attacks. The results of the clinical study, which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, could very well benefit people who are suffering from insulin resistance, but who are not diagnosed with diabetes.
The study at hand is part of a much larger program called I.R.I.S (Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke), which is focused on strategies to prevent secondary heart strokes in patients who suffered their first one within a brief interval.
Approximately 3000 patients from more than 10 countries enrolled in this clinical study. According to their health reports, each of them having suffered either an ischemic stroke or a transient ischemic attack in the last 6 months.
As explained by the medical literature, insulin is a hormone produced by our pancreas. The hormone helps out bodies to metabolize and to use glucose from food. In certain cases, due to an anomaly, be it genetical or otherwise, the body develops a so-called resistance to insulin. This means that our body is still capable of producing insulin, but the hormone is not used appropriately. If the condition is left uncheck, it can lead to type 2 diabetes or diabetes mellitus.
But, according to the latest research, it looks like a drug used for type 2 diabetes can prevent recurrent strokes. Doctor Walter N. Kernan, MD and the lead author of the clinical trial declared that this trial can easily be construed as a milestone when it comes to secondary drug interaction. As he explained, this is the first time someone managed to demonstrate that a drug formerly used to treat a metabolical condition can help prevent cardiovascular events.
Previous studies have suggested that drugs such as Pioglitazone could, in fact, increase the risk of having a heart attack. But I.R.I.S managed to prove that the drug can actually help patients who have suffered their first heart attacks.
In order to see how the drug is capable of aiding people who have suffered their first heart attack, the team randomly provided each member with either a placebo or with Pioglitazone and recorded their evolution over a five-year period.
The follow-up revealed that only 9 percent of patients on Pioglitazone suffered a heart attack. Moreover, 11.9 percent of patients who received a placebo suffered either from an ischemic stroke or a transient ischemic attack. In conclusion, the doctors declared that the drug can prevent 28 strokes in every 1000 patients.