Published On Wed 22 Jun 2016 by Roddy Isles

Original Article: 

Researchers at the University of Dundee have launched a series of projects to determine whether a new class of anti-diabetes drugs could also be used to treat heart disease.Diabetes and heart disease are frequently seen together and can be a potentially lethal combination. Past and present anti-diabetic medications that lower blood sugar levels have been shown to improve some markers of cardiovascular disease, however there has yet to be conclusive evidence linking them to a reduction in rates of heart attacks and death.

Recently, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed a new class of diabetic drug - called sodium glucose linked cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors - reduced the rates of hospitalisation for heart failure and death due to cardiovascular causes among diabetic patients with high cardiovascular risk.

SGLT 2 inhibitors, which are already being used to treat diabetes, act to lower blood sugar via the kidneys. Besides that, they have also been shown to increase urinary volume, lower blood pressure and induce weight loss, all of which are potentially beneficial cardiovascular effects.

Now researchers at Dundee, led by Professor Chim Lang (pictured above), are simultaneously conducting three clinical trials in a world’s first attempt to study the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on the cardiovascular system.

“This class of anti-diabetes drugs shows considerable potential to be a treatment for heart disease, with strong indicators of beneficial effects for cardiovascular patients,” said Professor Lang.

“We are uniquely well positioned at Dundee to examine novel approaches like this to simultaneously treating diabetes and heart disease. Our projects involve collaboration across the University between leading experts in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and magnetic imaging, and will place the University of Dundee as the leading authority in this field.”

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