Date Published: 1 September 2006

Glasgow researches suggest diabetes drugs to treat angina

Health News from Scotland

New research led by Glasgow University Professor, Naveed Sattar, shows that drugs normally used to treat patients with diabetes could help those suffering from angina.

Angina is commonly caused by narrowing of the blood vessels, however, there are sufferers of angina whose blood vessels ‘appear’ healthy. These patients are known as having ‘syndrome X’ and it is thought that their angina may be caused by the same condition that causes diabetes - ‘insulin resistance’.

Since diabetes drugs, such as metfomin target the ‘insulin resistance’ the British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded research shows that they could also treat the angina of ‘syndrome X’ sufferers.

Professor Sattar said:

While more tests are required before the therapy is offered more widely, initial tests show that we appear to have identified a new way to treat angina in many individuals.
_ Other evidence also suggests that treating ‘insulin resistance’ can reduce the future risk of heart attack so there could be dual benefits of using diabetes drugs in treating angina. This dual benefit would be a significant advantage over other current treatments and, as a result, warrants further larger trials

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the BHF said:

" We have no good explanation for why patients with Syndrome X get angina, but it is relatively common and extremely difficult to treat.
_ This encouraging study offers some promise that such patients may benefit from metformin, which is a well established and cheap treatment for diabetes.
_ The BHF will continue to fund work in this area to help crack a problem that has caused much frustration to cardiologists and distress to their patients.


Source: Glasgow University (Scotland, UK).

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