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Diabetes Health Center

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Drug May Ease Angina in Those With Type 2 Diabetes

Ranexa shows effectiveness, especially in patients with poor blood sugar control, study finds


The study was funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc., which makes Ranexa.

"Angina is associated with worse quality of life, increased risk of hospitalization and higher health care costs, and appears to be more prevalent in patients with diabetes," study lead author Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod, associate professor of medicine at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a cardiologist at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, said in a meeting news release.

"While ranolazine was shown to be effective in reducing angina in prior studies, this is the first time it has been prospectively evaluated in patients with diabetes -- a high-risk and therapeutically challenging group," he added.

The study also found that Ranexa had the strongest effect in reducing angina episodes among patients with poor blood sugar control. Prior research has shown that the drug may lower fasting glucose levels in people with diabetes.

"Ranolazine is an effective anti-anginal drug in patients with diabetes and may also have a glucose [blood sugar]-lowering effect," Kosiborod said. "If the glucose-lowering action of ranolazine is confirmed in future studies, patients with diabetes and angina may derive a dual benefit from this drug."

Weintraub agreed. "As the focus of the treatment of angina in diabetics increasingly focuses on [drug] therapy, this may offer another choice in optimal medical care in this group of patients," he said.

The majority of the study patients were men (61 percent). Ninety-six percent had high blood pressure and 74 percent had a history of heart attack. Most patients were taking cholesterol-lowering statins (82 percent) and heart drugs such as ACE inhibitors (88 percent). Sixteen percent were smokers.

About 347 million people worldwide have diabetes and about 90 percent of those people have type 2 diabetes. The main causes of type 2 diabetes are believed to be excess weight and lack of physical activity. One in three American adults could have the condition by the year 2050, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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