Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
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
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 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ 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
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
Revolutionary Technologies Developed to Improve Outcomes for Lung Cancer Patients
Breath test to detect lung cancer brings oxygen directly to the wound.
NIH Supports New Studies to Find Alzheimer’s Biomarkers in Down Syndrome
Initiative will track dementia onset, progress in Down syndrome volunteers.
Dementia Linked to Deficient DNA Repair
Mutant forms of breast cancer factor 1 (BRCA1) are associated with breast and ovarian cancers but according to new findings, in the brain the normal BRCA1 gene product may also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Using Drug-Susceptible Parasites to Fight Drug Resistance
Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a model for evaluating a potential new strategy in the fight against drug-resistant diseases.
Boosting Breast Cancer Treatment
To more efficiently treat breast cancer, scientists have been researching molecules that selectively bind to cancer cells and deliver a substance that can kill the tumor cells, for several years.
New Gene Map Reveals Cancer’s Achilles’ Heel
Team of researchers switches off almost 18,000 genes
New Discovery Sheds Light on Disease Risk
Gaps between genes interact to influence the risk of acquiring disease.
How Cells ‘Climb’ to Build Fruit Fly Tracheas
Mipp1 protein helps cells sprout “fingers” for gripping.
Research Finding Could Lead to Targeted Therapies for IBD
Findings published online in Cell Reports.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos