American medical journals are reporting the recent findings of a significant link between the use of the diabetes medication Actos and the risk of developing bladder cancer.
The study comes from Chinese medical researchers and, as fitting for one of the largest countries in the world, the research was conducted on a huge scale: It included more than 2.5 million diabetes patients.
The findings of the researchers? “The result suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients exposed to pioglitazone (Actos),” they write.
The study comes after a national health alert was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration informing the public that use of Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Read more about the Actos Bladder Cancer lawsuits forming.
“Information about this risk will be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the label for pioglitazone-containing medicines,” the FDA said in its announcement to patients and health care professionals. “The patient Medication Guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.”
Here is the summary of the Chinese study from scientists at the Wu Qing District People’s Hospital in Tianjin, China:
“Pioglitazone is widely used for glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, but evidence regarding the association between pioglitazone and bladder cancer risk is confusing. A systematic search of databases was carried out, and other relevant papers were also identified. Then, the analyses were conducted according to the PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines.
” After quality assessment, nine datasets from 10 available studies were included on the basis of inclusion criteria. The incidence of bladder cancer among pioglitazone ever users and never users, pooled from four cohort and one randomized studies, were 84.51 and 66.68 per 100,000 person-years, respectively.
“Nine studies representing 2,596,856 diabetic patients were recognized as eligible for overall study; the result suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients exposed to pioglitazone. A persistent significance was detected after being adjusted by age, gender, and use of other diabetes medications. Subgroup analyses indicated that the significantly increased incidence of bladder cancer was found in men, but not in women.
” Additionally, the analyses addressing increasing exposure to pioglitazone observed a dose-response relation between exclusive ever use of pioglitazone and bladder cancer in terms of cumulative duration of use and cumulative dosage. With some limitations, our results suggest an increased risk of bladder cancer in diabetic patients using pioglitazone, especially for men with long-term and high-dose exposure.”