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28-03-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Sulfonylurea use may increase risk for hospitalization with MI


Free abstract

MedWire News: Diabetic patients treated with sulfonylureas may be at increased risk for hospitalization with myocardial infarction (MI) compared with patients treated with other medications, say researchers.

Henriette Horsdal (University of Aarhus, Denmark) and colleagues used nationwide registries to compare data for 10,616 Danish Type 2 diabetic patients (median age 73.2 years) hospitalized with MI and 90,697 similarly aged Type 2 diabetes patients without MI (controls).

Compared with those receiving sulfonylureas, patients prescribed metformin and insulin alone had significant 14% and 8% lower risks for hospitalization with MI, respectively, after adjustment for confounders such as an alternative discharge diagnosis, duration of diabetes, and prescription of drugs to treat a variety of cardiovascular problems.

Similarly, patients who were being managed with diet and exercise alone had a 25% lower risk for being admitted to hospital for MI than those treated with sulfonylureas.

However, patients given any combination of antidiabetic drugs had a similar risk for MI to those given sulfonylureas.

Horsdal and co-investigators observed no differences in MI risk among different sulfonylurea types, suggesting it is likely to be a drug class effect. In addition, adjustment for glycated hemoglobin[as you don't use it again] level and cholesterol concentration only mildly influenced the risk estimates.

"Our findings provide some support for the hypothesis that sulfonylureas may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization with MI," write the authors.

The results of this study are published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert