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Vascular health and risk management

Safety and efficacy of rosiglitazone in the elderly diabetic patient.


PMID 19475776

Abstract

Diabetes is an important health condition for the aging population; at least 20% of patients over the age of 65 years have diabetes, and this number can be expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades. Rosiglitazone, a drug in the thiazolidinedione class which targets insulin resistance, was approved by drug regulatory bodies based on its ability to improve glycemic control nearly ten years ago. The greatest long-term risk in diabetes is cardiovascular disease with macrovascular disease being the cause of as much as 80% of mortality. More recently the cardiovascular safety of rosiglitazone was brought to center stage following several meta-analyses and the unplanned interim analysis of the RECORD trial. As opposed to pioglitazone, current evidence points to rosiglitazone having a greater risk of myocardial ischemic events than placebo, metformin, or sulfonylureas. A thiazolidinedione class effect however seems apparent with respect to the increased risk for fractures and congestive heart failure. Clinical trial evidence on rosiglitazone therapy in the elderly is limited. The available evidence is mainly related to observational cohort studies. Most of the trial evidence relates to a younger population and therefore these data can not be directly extrapolated to an older population. The effects of the thiazolidinedione drug class remain incompletely understood.