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New analysis shows diabetes, diabetes drug Actos, increase risk for bladder cancer

A new analysis of previously completed studies provides more evidence that people with type 2 diabetes have a greater risk of developing bladder cancer, and taking the diabetes drug Actos increases that risk even more. The study, published July 3 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that people with type 2 diabetes have a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer. This risk is believed to be associated with high levels of insulin. Insulin is also a growth hormone, and cancer cells have insulin receptors, which means they can use insulin to grow. Studies on type 2 diabetes ... Read More

TV’s Dr. Drew was paid by drug maker to promote antidepressant

Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky, best known as Dr. Drew on the HLN talk show of the same name, the daytime series Lifechangers on the CW, and Celebrity Rehab on VH1, accepted large payments from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to tout the benefits of the antidepressant Wellbutrin (bupropion) on some of his shows, according to court documents. The documents were made public as part of the $3 billion settlement of a health care fraud case against GSK by the U.S. Department of Justice. The government alleged that Pinskey received two payments – in March and April 1999 – from GSK to talk up the ... Read More

Metformin may benefit non-diabetics with heart failure

The most commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes drug, metformin, has the potential to be developed into a new treatment for heart failure, according to a study funded by the British Heart Foundation. Research has already established that metformin can protect type 2 diabetics from cancer and cardiovascular disease, but a new study, led by Chim Lang, Professor of Cardiology at Dundee University in Scotland, shows that non-diabetics with heart failure may also benefit from the drug. Patients with heart failure are at risk for developing diabetes because their disease can lead to fatigue and shortness of breath, which can lead ... Read More

GSK to plead guilty, pay billions for health care fraud

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to plead guilty and shell out $3 billion for what government officials say is the largest case of health care fraud in U.S. history. The drug company was accused of promoting two popular drugs for unapproved uses and failing to disclose important safety information on a third medication. The $3 billion fine is the largest penalty ever paid by a drug company. GSK has also agreed to be monitored by government officials for five years in an attempt to ensure the company’s compliance. Prosecutors said that from April 1998 to August 2003, GSK illegally promoted its ... Read More

Paula Deen sheds 30 pounds after announcing diabetes diagnosis

Television food personality Paula Deen, known for her unhealthy recipes laden with fat and sugar, raised eyebrows earlier this year when she announced that she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago and was coming forward as a spokesperson for a new diabetes medication. Critics said she was a hypocrite, promoting unhealthy recipes while suffering from a chronic disease caused by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. It didn’t help that type 2 diabetes is on the rise, paralleling the nation’s obesity epidemic. Deen stood firm, saying she would start taming her butter-and-sugar-packed recipes, and that ... Read More

Study: Actos, Avandia may increase risk of macular edema

The popular type 2 diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia may increase the risk of eye and vision problems, according to a study published this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study, Association Between Thiazolidinedion Treatment and Risk of Macular Edema Among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, followed more than 100,000 patients during a 10-year period. Researchers found that participants who used either Actos or Avandia had a two to three times greater risk of developing macular edema. Those who used the drug with insulin had an even greater risk. Macular edema occurs when fluid and protein deposits collect ... Read More

Diabetic retinopathy cases increase dramatically

The number of cases of a serious vision problem that affects diabetics is dramatically increasing, raising concerns among eye specialists. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels in the retina that occurs with long-term diabetes. It can lead to blindness. Approximately 8 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, up a startling 89 percent since 2000, according to the report issued by Prevent Blindness America. “We suspect that is largely due to the spike in diabetes and the diabetes epidemic we are facing as a country, as well as the increase in Hispanic and African-American populations, which ... Read More

Bladder cancer risk with Actos could have been predicted earlier

The risk of bladder cancer with the type 2 diabetes drug Actos is obvious and could have been predicted earlier, say French officials in an editorial that accompanied a new study about the health risks associated with Actos. Previous studies linking Actos to bladder cancer resulted in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a warning about the drug. France and Germany went further and banned the medication. Last month, a large cohort published in the British Medical Journal said that patients who took Actos were 83 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer than patients who did not ... Read More

Takeda stands behind type 2 diabetes drug Actos despite reports of bladder cancer

Takeda Pharmaceuticals says it is confident in its type 2 diabetes medication Actos despite studies that show the drug puts users at risk for bladder cancer. The drug company issued a statement following a newly published study that backed up bladder cancer risks brought to light in an earlier study. The new study involved data from more than 115,000 people who were treated with diabetes drugs from 1988 to 2009. Overall, 470 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer during about 4 ½ years of follow up. Diabetics treated with Actos had an 83 percent increased risk of bladder cancer than ... Read More

Study: Diabetics more likely to suffer mental decline

People who suffer from diabetes may be at greater risk for mental decline, according to a new study published in the Archives of Neurology. For the study, researchers analyzed data from 3,069 people participating a long-term study of older adults living in Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Over the course of 10 years, participants were given repeated cognitive tests that evaluated memorization skills, dexterity, coordination and overall mental health. Researchers found that during a 10-year period, older people with diabetes had much lower cognitive test scores than people of the same age who were not diabetic. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes ... Read More