Effects of pioglitazone in patients with type 2 diabetes with or without previous stroke: results from PROactive (PROspective pioglitAzone Clinical Trial In macroVascular Events 04)

Stroke. 2007 Mar;38(3):865-73. doi: 10.1161/01.STR.0000257974.06317.49. Epub 2007 Feb 8.


Background and purpose: Diabetes is an important risk factor for stroke. We conducted analyses in patients who had entered the PROspective pioglitAzone Clinical Trial In macroVascular Events (PROactive) with a history of stroke or without stroke.

Methods: The prospective, double-blind PROactive (mean duration, 34.5 months) randomized 5238 patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of macrovascular disease to pioglitazone (titrated to 45 mg) or placebo, in addition to current diabetes and cardiovascular medications. Cardiovascular end-point events were independently adjudicated. This analysis evaluated the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular outcomes in patients with (n=984) and without (n=4254) prior stroke.

Results: In patients with previous stroke (n=486 in the pioglitazone group and n=498 in the placebo group), there was a trend of benefit with pioglitazone for the primary end point of all-cause death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, and cardiac intervention (including coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous coronary intervention), stroke, major leg amputation, or bypass surgery or leg revascularization (hazard ratio[HR]=0.78, event rate=20.2% pioglitazone vs 25.3% placebo; 95% CI=0.60-1.02; P=0.0670) and for the main secondary end point of all-cause death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke (HR=0.78, event rate=15.6% pioglitazone vs 19.7% placebo; 95% CI=0.58-1.06; P=0.1095). Pioglitazone reduced fatal or nonfatal stroke (HR=0.53, event rate=5.6% pioglitazone vs 10.2% placebo; 95% CI=0.34-0.85; P=0.0085) and cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke (HR=0.72, event rate=13.0% pioglitazone vs 17.7% placebo; 95% CI=0.52-1.00; P=0.0467). Higher event rates were observed in patients with prior stroke compared with those without prior stroke. In patients without prior stroke, no treatment effect was observed for a first stroke.

Conclusions: In a subgroup analysis from PROactive, pioglitazone reduced the risk of recurrent stroke significantly in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pioglitazone
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use*
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Pioglitazone