Antimalarial drug prevents diabetes in arthritis patients

Oct 28, 2008

The use of an antimalarial medication may prevent the onset of diabetes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, new Geisinger research shows.

Researchers examined the records of 2,093 Geisinger patients who received treatment for rheumatoid arthritis from 2000 to 2008. The study looked at, among other things, use of the medication hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and the development of new cases of diabetes in these patients.

HCQ was developed to treat malaria but it has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, use of HCQ was associated with a 53 percent reduction in the development of new cases of diabetes, the study found.

"Given the relative safety and low cost of this generic drug, HCQ may be useful in preventing diabetes in other high risk groups," said lead study investigator and Geisinger rheumatologist Androniki Bili, MD, MPH.

Researchers don't know how exactly HCQ prevents diabetes onset but it's suspected that HCQ improves glucose tolerance.

Dr. Bili presented the study's findings Monday at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco.

About 23.6 million Americans have diabetes, while 1.3 million have rheumatoid arthritis.

People with rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk for diabetes due to more sedentary lifestyle, chronic inflammation and use of steroid medications that can cause weight gain.

"We should revisit HCQ in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because, in addition to its disease-modifying properties, it might prevent the development of diabetes in this high risk group," Dr. Bili said.

Source: Geisinger Health System

Explore further: EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The birth of topological spintronics

33 minutes ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

Student develops filter for clean water around the world

1 hour ago

Roughly 780 million people around the world have no access to clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. ETH student Jeremy Nussbaumer ...

How much magma is hiding beneath our feet?

1 hour ago

Molten rock (or magma) has a strong influence on our planet and its inhabitants, causing destructive volcanic eruptions and generating some of the giant mineral deposits. Our understanding of these phenomena ...

Recommended for you

EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

12 hours ago

(AP)—A commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women, the European Medicines Agency said Thursday after a review of the evidence sparked by the French manufacturer's declaration that the drugs didn't ...

Physicians warned about counterfeit medical devices

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians should be aware of the prevalence and serious consequences associated with use of counterfeit medical devices, according to a letter to the editor published online July 20 in Lasers in ...

Zydelig approved for three types of blood cancer

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Zydelig (idelalisib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat relapsed forms of blood cancer, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (FL) ...

Journal raises concern about blood-thinning drug

Jul 23, 2014

A medical journal raised concerns Wednesday about a blood-thinning drug widely used by people at risk of stroke, accusing its manufacturer of concealing safety data and regulators of laxness.

User comments : 0