Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Pharma Outsourcing
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Gout Drug Shown to Benefit Diabetes Patients at Risk of Heart Disease

Published: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Bookmark and Share
New research has led to the possibility of using an old drug to help prevent the biggest cause of death in Type II diabetes patients.

Allopurinol, an inexpensive drug used to prevent gout for more than 50 years, has been shown to reduce thickening of the heart muscle wall, known as Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH), in diabetes patients. Reducing thickening is known to help reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events and, as heart disease and stroke account for 65 per cent of all fatalities in people with diabetes, the findings offer the possibility of improving the life expectancy of patients.
The senior corresponding author on the study, Dr Jacob George from the University’s Division of Cardiovascular & Diabetes Medicine says that this follows on from previous studies at Dundee that have shown that allopurinol has benefits for patients with heart failure, angina and previous stroke.
“Cardiovascular disease is the single biggest cause of death in diabetic patients,” said Dr George. “Diabetics’ cardiovascular risk is significantly higher than non-diabetics. In particular, large trials have previously shown us that patients with left ventricular hypertrophy are at much higher risk and so it should follow that if we reduce LVH we will reduce mortality rates.
“Previously, our group have looked at patients with coronary artery disease and how allopurinol helps them, but this is the first time we have looked specifically at people with Type II diabetes who have heart muscle thickening.
“There may be different reasons for patients with coronary heart disease and those with diabetes experiencing left ventricular hypertrophy and although we had good reason to suppose that allopurinol should help to reduce thickening in this second group, it had never been proven before.
“It was very important to show that allopurinol was able to reduce LVH in diabetics as well as non-diabetic coronary artery disease patients. As obesity becomes more of an issue in the UK and diabetes becomes more prevalent, this treatment could become an important weapon in improving the cardiovascular outcome in diabetic patients.”
Dr George and his colleagues looked at a sample group of 66 Type II diabetes patients, half of whom who were given allopurinol and half a placebo for nine months. The results showed that the thickness of the heart muscle wall, measured by cardiac MRI, was significantly reduced in the group who took allopurinol.
It is believed that allopurinol reduces oxidative stress, the process that leads to the production of damaging free radicals that cause thickening of the left ventricle of the heart, while also improving blood vessel health. This means the blood vessels will provide less resistance against the pumping of the heart and such resistance has been shown to cause LVH.
The research, funded by the charity Diabetes UK, is also interesting in that it shows allopurinol does not affect blood pressure, unlike other drugs currently used to reduce LVH.
Dr George continued, “The most common reason for developing LVH is high blood pressure but our patients were very well controlled with optimal treatments currently available for patients and despite that still experienced thickening. This might be down to oxidative stress molecules, and there is evidence that diabetes patients experience higher levels of this that the non-diabetic population.
“If a larger-scale study backs up these findings then there is reason to be excited about the potential for using allopurinol as a therapy to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with Type II diabetes. It has been on the market for decades so is cheap and safe and our research suggests it is a way of treating LVH without lowering blood pressure.
“This is another piece of the large jigsaw we’ve been putting together in Dundee for over the last 20 years. We have shown that allopurinol has potential in heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke and now diabetes patients. We are building a body of evidence that will allow us to determine whether putting patients on high doses of allopurinol is a realistic way of significantly reducing cardiovascular mortality.”

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Salford Lung Study - The First Real World Clinical Trial
In this podcast, we learn about the Salford Lung Study and its potential to revolutionize the way we assess new drugs and treatments around the world.
Skin Patch to Treat Peanut Allergy
NIH-funded study suggests peanut protein patch is a safe and convenient method of treatment.
NIH Contributes to Global Effort to Prevent and Manage Lung Diseases
The large scale trial will measure health benefits of clean cookstoves.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Could Help Treat Depression
Anti-inflammatory drugs could be used to treat some cases of depression, which further implicates our immune system in mental health disorders.
Questioning the Safety of Selenium to Combat Cancer
Research indicates the need for change in practice as selenium supplements cannot be recommended for preventing colorectal cancer.
Scientists at NIH and Emory Achieve Sustained SIV Remission in Monkeys
The finding suggest that the immune systems of these animals are controlling SIV replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy.
Painting the Way to Tumour Imaging
Tumour paint used in emergency surgery to aid cell identification for surgeons.
Anti-Cancer Drug Uses Tumour mRNA to Identify Responders
Phase I study of novel anti-cancer drug uses tumour mRNA expression to identify patients who will respond to the drug.
Targeting Estrogen Receptor Improves Survival in Breast Cancer
Trial finds estrogen receptor degrader significantly increases progression-free survival in patients with advanced breast cancer.
Clinical Trial Finds Medicine Program Alters Blood Serum
Meditation, yoga and vegetarian diet linked to decline in plasma metabolites associated with inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,200+ scientific videos