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Paper of the day: Rosiglitazone CV risks 'have been exaggerated'

The adverse cardiovascular effects of the diabetes drug rosiglitazone have been exaggerated, according to a new meta-analysis of the same clinical trial data that resulted in a high-profile safety scare in May.

The US and Dutch researchers behind the new analysis say the statistical techniques used in the original number-crunching were ‘less satisfactory', and that excluding some trials increased the apparent risk.

The new analysis looked at the data from 42 trials in seven different ways, and found that the increased risks of myocardial infarction ranged from 43% to 26%, and for cardiovascular death from 64% to 17%, but that the risks were statistically insignificant.

The researchers say their analysis established neither increased, nor decreased cardiovascular risk. The fragility of the effect size for cardiovascular risk puts a question against the calls from the authors of the original meta-analysis for urgent evaluation of rosiglitazone's safety, they say.

Annals of Internal Medicine Early online August 6

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