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GPs given glitazone infection warning



By Christian Duffin

GPs are being warned that patients with type 2 diabetes who have been long-term users of glitazones have an increased risk of pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infection than the general patient population.

US researchers reviewed 13 randomised controlled trials involving more than 8,000 patients who took glitazones for more than one year up until March 2010. The follow-up period was between one and five and a half years.

Compared with 9,500 controls, glitazones significantly increased the risk for any pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infection by 40% and of serious pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infection by 39%.

Study leader Dr Sonal Singh, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland, United States, said: ‘Any potential accentuation of risk with thiazolidinediones is of particular concern given that several recent epidemiological studies have reported an increased risk of pneumonia in patients with type 2 diabetes.’

Thorax 2011, published online 15 February