Do TZDs Heighten Your Risk of Heart Failure?

Type 2s who take thiazolidinediones (TZDs) such as Avandia and Actos face an increased risk of heart failure, and researchers suggest that physicians should consider alternative therapies.

Researchers studied health insurance claims between 1995 and 2001 for two groups, one with about 5,500 patients who used oral TZDs and another group of 28,100 who did not. Those on TZDs tended to be younger but also more likely to experience coronary artery disease or diabetes complications.

TZD patients experienced an 8.2 percent rate of heart failure compared with 5.3 percent in the control group.

The researchers urge physicians to be alert for symptoms of congestive heart failure, such as shortness of breath, in patients on TZDs and to consider different therapies for patients at risk.

Diabetes Care, November 2003

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