Diabetes medication associated with slower progression of retina disease

Jun 09, 2008

Patients with diabetes who take the medication rosiglitazone may be less likely to develop the eye disease proliferative diabetic retinopathy or to experience reductions in visual acuity (sharpness), according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy occurs when existing blood vessels in the retina are blocked or damaged and new, tiny blood vessels form, according to background information in the article. It one of is the most common causes of severe vision loss among working-age Americans, and few effective therapies exist to delay its progression.

Lucy Q. Shen, M.D., of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California–Los Angeles, and colleagues reviewed the medical records of 124 patients who were treated with rosiglitazone and who were receiving medical and ophthalmic care at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston between May 2002 and May 2003. They compared these patients to 158 patients who also had diabetes but were not taking rosiglitazone or a similar medication.

At the beginning of the study, 14 eyes of those in the rosiglitazone group (6.4 percent) and 24 eyes of those in the control group (9.3 percent) had severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, an earlier stage of the disease in which new blood vessels have not yet developed. Among those, 7.7 percent of those in the rosiglitazone group and 29.2 percent of those in the control group progressed to proliferative diabetic retinopathy after one year. After three years, 19.2 percent in the rosiglitazone group and 47.4 percent in the control group had progressed from non-proliferative to proliferative diabetic retinopathy—a 59.5 percent relative risk reduction in the rosiglitazone group.

In addition, fewer eyes in the rosiglitazone group than in the control group experienced a loss in visual acuity of three or more lines on the vision chart (.5 percent vs. 14.5 percent) during an average of 2.8 years of follow-up.

Rosiglitazone may delay the progression of retinopathy and preserve vision by reducing the formation of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis, the authors note. "However, because this study does not rigorously prove that rosiglitazone either reduces the incidence of proliferative diabetic retinopathy or prevents loss of visual acuity, and because there may be adverse effects from therapy, rosiglitazone treatment of patients with diabetes specifically to reduce these ophthalmic complications is not advocated at this time," they write. Known adverse effects include fluid build-up, abnormal liver function test and the worsening of congestive heart failure.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

5 hours ago

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

5 hours ago

The SpaceX company returned to orbit Friday, launching fresh supplies to the International Space Station after more than a month's delay and setting the stage for urgent spacewalking repairs.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.