Objective: The goal of this study was to compare the effects of 2 doses of pioglitazone hydrochloride (a thiazolidinedione insulin sensitizer) with placebo on glycated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)), insulin sensitivity, and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who had suboptimal glycemic control and mild dyslipidemia.
Methods: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (HbA(1c) >/=6.5% and </=9.8%) who had not previously received insulin or oral antihyperglycemic medications (OAMs) were randomized to treatment with placebo, pioglitazone 30 mg QD, or pioglitazone 45 mg QD in double-blind fashion for 16 weeks at 41 centers in Canada and Spain.
Results: A total of 297 patients were randomized (99 in each group). Overall, 286 (96.3%) were white. Mean (SD) age was 58.4 (10.9) years (range, 24-85 years), mean (SD) body mass index was 31.4 (4.8) kg/m(2), mean (SD) duration of type 2 diabetes mellitus was 20.0 (37.4) months, and 30.6% of patients were receiving medication for dyslipidemia. Treatment with pioglitazone 30 or 45 mg QD for 16 weeks reduced mean HbA(1c) by 0.8% and 0.9% from baseline, respectively (both P < 0.001 vs baseline and placebo). A reduction in HbA(1c) of 0.2% was observed in the placebo group (P = 0.025). In patients with medium (>/=7% to <8%) or high (>/=8% to </=9.8%) baseline HbA(1c), both doses of pioglitazone significantly reduced HbA(1c) (both P < 0.001 vs placebo). Pioglitazone 30 and 45 mg significantly reduced fasting serum insulin versus placebo (P = 0.008 and P = 0.006, respectively) and increased insulin sensitivity by Homeostasis Model Assessment versus placebo (P = 0.039 and P = 0.001, respectively). Relative to placebo, pioglitazone 30 and 45 mg significantly increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C [P = 0.028 and P < 0.001, respectively]) and lowered the atherogenic index of plasma (P = 0.018 and P < 0.001, respectively). Pioglitazone 45 mg also significantly reduced serum triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, and total cholesterol:HDL-C ratio versus placebo (P = 0.007, P = 0.015, and P = 0.005, respectively). Pioglitazone 30 and 45 mg were associated with a significant reduction in serum alanine aminotransferase relative to placebo (P = 0.036 and P = 0.005, respectively). Pioglitazone appeared to be safe and was well tolerated.
Conclusions: In the present study, pioglitazone 30 and 45 mg produced significant improvements in HbA(1c), insulin sensitivity, and lipid profile in OAM-naive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with suboptimal glycemic control and mild dyslipidemia.