Liver problems aided by diabetes drug

Thu, 30 Nov 2006
The popular diabetes drug Actos could aid in the prevention of one form of diabetes complication that could affect up to 20 per cent of Americans. The findings, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate that Actos was very effective against non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, also known as NASH.

NASH is a serious complication caused by fatty liver disease, and is often one major step on the way to End-stage renal failure, a condition that is almost always fatal. One of the authors of the study, Dr. Kenneth Cusi, said: "We're excited because we now have a pharmacological option that might help prevent end-stage liver disease." The study was conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Centre, San Antonio .

Fatty liver disease is a major cause of cirrhosis, and is surprisingly common. Excess deposits of fat build up in the liver, usually caused by being overweight . Diabetes and its complications can contribute to fatty liver disease. The study was co-funded by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos.

Experts praised the study but said that it needed to be carried out over a greater number of people .
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