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Diabetes Drug Linked To Increased Risk Of Bladder Cancer

Posted Jun 01 2012 5:05pm

Pioglitazone, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, according to findings from a study conducted by researchers from the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, published in the British Medical Journal. The study was led by Dr. Laurent Azoulay of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, along with Hui Yin, Kristian B. Filion, Jonathan Assayag, Agnieszka Majdan, Michael N. Pollak, and Samy Suissa.

The results show that more than two years of daily exposure to pioglitazone doubles the risk of bladder cancer. However, the authors stress, in absolute terms, the risks are low – up to 137 extra cases per 100,000 person years. No increased risk was seen for a similar drug, rosiglitazone.

Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone belong to a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones, which help to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Both drugs are known to increase the risk of heart failure but, after carrying out a safety review, the European Medicines Agency decided to keep pioglitazone on the market.

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