Background: Patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are often treated with multiple glucose-lowering and cardiovascular agents. The concomitant use of nitrates, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers, or insulin has been linked to a potential increase in myocardial ischemic risk with rosiglitazone. The PROactive database provides an opportunity to investigate the effects of these medications on the potential macrovascular benefits reported with pioglitazone.
Methods: The PROactive study was a randomized double-blind prospective trial that evaluated mortality and cardiovascular morbidity in 5238 patients with T2DM and macrovascular disease. Patients received pioglitazone or placebo in addition to their baseline glucose-lowering and cardiovascular medications. The effect of pioglitazone on composite endpoints was evaluated, including all-cause death, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, as well as safety events of edema and serious heart failure, in subgroups using nitrates, RAS blockers, or insulin at baseline.
Results: The risk of all-cause death, MI, and stroke for pioglitazone versus placebo was similar regardless of the baseline use of nitrates, RAS blockers, or insulin, with hazard ratios ranging from 0.81 to 0.87. Similar results were obtained for the other composite endpoints analyzed. There were no significant interactions between baseline medication subgroups and treatment. The increased risk of edema and serious heart failure was consistent across the baseline medication subgroups.
Conclusions: This post hoc analysis did not reveal an increased risk of macrovascular events with pioglitazone in patients receiving nitrates, RAS blockers, or insulin. Rather, all patients realized the same trend towards benefit with pioglitazone, and adverse events of edema and heart failure were predictable.
© 2010 Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.