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Fish oils don’t prevent strokes in diabetes patients

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Fish oil supplements do not prevent heart attacks or strokes in patients with diabetes, according to recent study results from the ASCEND (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes) trial presented in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The ASCEND trial examined whether fish oil supplements reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event in patients with diabetes.

In observational studies, higher consumption of fish is associated with lower risks of coronary artery disease and stroke. However, previous trials have not been able to show that taking fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of having cardiovascular events.

During an average of 7.4 years of follow-up, a first serious vascular event occurred in 689 (8.9%) participants allocated fish oil supplements and 712 (9.2%) participants allocated placebo.

There was no significant difference between the two groups.

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The primary efficacy outcome was the first serious vascular event, which included non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes or transient ischemic attacks (sometimes called “mini-strokes”), or deaths from a cardiovascular cause.

Principal investigator, Dr. Louise Bowman, said, “Our large, long-term randomised trial shows that fish oil supplements do not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes.

This is a disappointing finding, but it is in line with previous randomised trials in other types of patient at increased risk of cardiovascular events which also showed no benefit of fish oil supplements.”

“There is no justification for recommending fish oil supplements to protect against cardiovascular events,” he added.

Agencies

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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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