Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (54)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  A real world comparison of sulfonylurea and insulin vs. incretin-based treatments in patients not controlled on prior metformin monotherapy 
Metformin is the first line drug for patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes; however, the impact of different treatment escalation strategies after metformin failure has thus far not been investigated in a real world situation. The registry described herein goes some way to clarifying treatment outcomes in such patients.
DiaRegis is a multicentre registry including 3,810 patients with type-2 diabetes. For the present analysis we selected patients being treated with metformin monotherapy at baseline (n = 1,373), with the subsequent addition of incretin-based drugs (Met/Incr; n = 783), sulfonylureas (Met/SU; n = 255), or insulin (n = 220).
After two years 1,110 of the initial 1,373 patients had a complete follow-up (80.8%) and 726 of these were still on the initial treatment combination (65.4%). After treatment escalation, compared to Met/Incr (n = 421), Met/SU (n = 154) therapy resulted in a higher HbA1c reduction vs. baseline (−0.6 ± 1.4% vs. −0.5 ± 1.0%; p = 0.039). Insulin (n = 151) resulted in a stronger reduction in HbA1c (−0.9 ± 2.0% vs. −0.5 ± 1.0%; p = 0.003), and fasting plasma glucose (−24 ± 70 mg/dl vs. −19 ± 42 mg/dl; p = 0.001), but was associated with increased bodyweight (0.8 ± 9.0 kg vs. −1.5 ± 5.0 kg; p = 0.028). Hypoglycaemia rates (any with or without help and symptoms) were higher for patients receiving insulin (Odds Ratio [OR] 8.35; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 4.84-14.4) and Met/SU (OR 2.70; 95% CI 1.48-4.92) versus Met/Incr. While there was little difference in event rates between Met/Incr and Met/SU, insulin was associated with higher rates of death, major cardiac and cerebrovascular events, and microvascular disease.
Taking the results of DiaRegis into consideration it can be concluded that incretin-based treatment strategies appear to have a favourable balance between glycemic control and treatment emergent adverse effects.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0172-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4324641  PMID: 25645672
Diabetes; Strategies; Oral antidiabetic drugs; Insulin; Outcomes; Glucose; Effectiveness
2.  Safety and effectiveness of a fixed-dose combination of olmesartan, amlodipine, and hydrochlorothiazide in clinical practice 
Clinical trials indicate that the use of fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) is associated with a higher level of treatment adherence and prolonged blood pressure (BP) control. The aim of this study was to document the safety and effectiveness of the FDC olmesartan/amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide in patients with essential hypertension in clinical practice.
This multicenter, prospective, 24-week, noninterventional study enrolled 5,831 patients from primary care offices in Germany and Austria. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of essential hypertension and newly initiated treatment with the FDC.
The mean age of patients was 63.5 years, almost 50% of patients had a time since diagnosis of essential hypertension of over 5 years, and approximately 70% of patients had at least one cardiovascular risk factor, including 29.4% of patients with diabetes mellitus. Following approximately 24 weeks of treatment, the mean reduction in systolic/diastolic BP was 29.0/14.0 mmHg, a BP response was observed by 94.2% of patients, and a target BP of <140/90 mmHg was attained in 67.5% of patients. At least one adverse drug reaction (ADR) was experienced by 1.2% of patients, with the most common being peripheral edema. Subanalyses demonstrated that the following factors did not have a significant influence on the ADR rate: age (<65 years versus ≥65 years), diabetes mellitus (no/yes), cardiovascular risk (low/high), and concomitant medication (no/yes).
This study demonstrates that in clinical practice, treatment with the three-drug combination as an FDC tablet resulted in a very high proportion of patients with a BP response and control, accompanied by a very low rate of ADRs.
PMCID: PMC4275113  PMID: 25565857
hypertension; clinical practice; fixed-dose combination; blood pressure; adverse drug reactions
3.  Effects of 8,000 IU aXa long-term prophylaxis with certoparin on the incidence of hyperkalemia in patients with coronary heart disease – a post-hoc analysis of the PARAT trial 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):880.
Hyperkalemia is an infrequent but potentially serious complication of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) use. While there are a number of trials comparing LMWH to unfractionated heparin (UFH) there is no comparison of the risk with LMWH versus placebo. Aim of the present post-hoc analysis of the PARAT trial was the description of serum potassium levels with certoparin compared to placebo.
PARAT was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial in patients with coronary artery disease receiving either 8,000 I.U. aXa per day or placebo. Serum potassium was monitored at baseline and at scheduled follow-up visits at 2 and 4–6 weeks and 3 and 4–6 months. Statistical evaluation included paired, two sided t-test for each of the treatment groups to compare baseline and follow-up values. A total of 117 patients (59 certoparin, 58 placebo) were included with a mean age of 59 years and 84.6% male gender. There was a statistically significant increase in serum potassium at two weeks after discharge compared to baseline (p < 0.001) in either group which remained elevated throughout the three months treatment phase. Differences between treatment groups were not statistically significant. After treatment discontinuation at the three months’ visit serum potassium returned to normal values (p = n.s. vs. baseline) in both groups. Overall 12 out of 59 patients receiving certoparin (20.3%) and 11 out of 58 patients receiving placebo (19.0%) experienced hyperkalemia based on threshold of >5.0 mmol/l at any time during the observation.
We conclude that there is no incremental risk of hyperkalemia with certoparin up to 8,000 I.U. aXa per day versus placebo in patients with coronary artery disease. The increase in serum potassium values in either group calls for clinical surveillance and the consideration of further risk factors predisposing to hyperkalemia.
PMCID: PMC4307893  PMID: 25480344
Hyperkalemia; Certoparin; Aldosterone; Renal impairment
4.  Clinical course and outcomes of type-2 diabetic patients after treatment intensification for insufficient glycaemic control - results of the 2 year prospective DiaRegis follow-up 
In cases where antidiabetic monotherapy is unable to sufficiently control glucose levels in patients with type-2 diabetes, treatment needs to be intensified. Determining factors that may be predictors for the occurrence of comorbidities in these patients is essential for improving the efficacy of clinical diabetes care.
The DiaRegis prospective cohort study included 3,810 type-2 diabetics for whom the treating physician aimed to intensify and optimise antidiabetic treatment due to insufficient glucose control. Treatment intensification was defined as increasing the dose of the originally prescribed drug, and/or selecting an alternative drug, and/or prescribing an additional drug. The aims were to monitor the co-morbidity burden of type-2 diabetic patients over a follow-up of two years, and to identify multivariable adjusted predictors for the development of comorbidity and cardiovascular events.
A total of 3,058 patients completed the 2 year follow-up. A substantial proportion of these patients had co-morbidities such as vascular disease, neuropathy, and heart failure at baseline. After treatment intensification, there was an increased use of DPP-4 inhibitors, insulin, and GLP-1 analogues, achieving reductions in HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, and postprandial glucose. During the 2 year period 2.5% of patients (n = 75) died, 3.2% experienced non-fatal macrovascular events, 11.9% experienced microvascular events, and 4.3% suffered onset of heart failure. Predictors for combined macro-/microvascular complications/heart failure/death were found to be age (OR 1.36; 95% CI 1.10–1.68), prior vascular disease (1.73; 1.39–2.16), and history of heart failure (2.78; 2.10–3.68).
Determining the factors that contribute to co-morbidities during intensive glucose-lowering treatment is essential for improving the efficacy of diabetes care. Our results indicate that age, prior vascular disease, and heart failure constitute important predictors of poor cardiovascular outcomes in patients receiving such therapy.
PMCID: PMC4247562  PMID: 25410473
Diabetes type 2; Glucose control; Co-morbidities; Treatment intensification; Oral antidiabetic drug; Macrovascular; Microvascular; Heart failure
5.  Balloon expandable transcatheter aortic valve implantation with or without pre-dilation of the aortic valve – rationale and design of a multicenter registry (EASE-IT) 
In patients with severe calcific aortic stenosis, balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) is routinely performed in order to pre-dilate the stenosed aortic valve prior to transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Although pre-dilation is considered to be essential for the preparation of the valve landing zone, there is no clear evidence to support its clinical value. In contrast, BAV has been suggested to be linked to several complications. Notably, while preliminary evidence has supported the feasibility and safety of TAVI without pre-dilation, larger studies directly comparing the benefit/risk profile of TAVI in the presence and absence of pre-dilation are required.
Therefore, a prospective, two-armed, multicenter registry (EASE-IT) was designed to obtain essential data concerning procedural success rates, adverse events, and mortality in a large cohort of patients undergoing transapical (TA)-TAVI using the Edwards SAPIEN 3 balloon expandable heart valves with and without pre-ballooning.
Data provided by EASE-IT will be used to assess the relevance of BAV during the TAVI procedure and to investigate associations between patient characteristics and outcomes. Therefore, results obtained from the EASE-IT registry could contribute to reduced rates of TAVI-associated morbidity and mortality in patients with severe, calcific aortic stenosis.
Trial registration Identifier: NCT02127580
PMCID: PMC4247728  PMID: 25403092
EASE-IT; Transcatheter aortic valve implantation; TAVI; Balloon aortic valvuloplasty; BAV
6.  Transaortic transcatheter aortic valve implantation - rationale and design of the multicenter, multinational prospective ROUTE registry 
Transaortic transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAo-TAVI) is a recently developed approach that provides an alternative delivery route for valve replacement in patients with vascular abnormalities or existing comorbidities. While initial studies have shown the principal efficacy and safety, the real world effectiveness and safety of this approach remains to be fully assessed.
In this regard, the Registry Of the Utilization of the TAo-TAVI approach using the Edwards SAPIEN Valve (ROUTE) represents the first multicenter, multinational prospective documentation of the course and outcome of patients with severe calcific aortic stenosis (AS) undergoing TAo-TAVI. ROUTE commenced in February 2013 with the goal of consecutively enrolling 300 patients at up to 22 sites across Europe. The primary objective of ROUTE is to determine the 30-day mortality associated with TAo-TAVI using the Edwards SAPIEN THV (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA). In addition, ROUTE aims to quantify complications, predictors of patient outcome and the value of CT guided valve sizing.
Findings from this landmark registry will provide important information regarding procedural success rates and early mortality in patients undergoing TAo-TAVI.
Trial registration
Identifier: NCT01991431.
PMCID: PMC4271489  PMID: 25361564
Transaortic transcatheter aortic valve implantation; TAVI; TAo-TAVI; ROUTE; Registry; Mortality
7.  Prevalence of deep vein thrombosis in acutely admitted ambulatory non-surgical intensive care unit patients 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:431.
Data on prevalence rates of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in different patient populations are scarce. Most studies on this topic focus on older patients or patients with malignancies, immobilization or thrombophilia. Less is known about the VTE risk profile of non-surgical patients presenting with a variety of medical diseases of differing severity. Aim of the present study was to investigate VTE prevalence in a pospective cohort study of ambulatory medical intensive care unit patients within 24 h after acute admission.
Prospective cohort study of 102 consecutive patients after acute admission to medical intensive care unit. Ultrasound compression sonography, APACHE-II-Scoring and laboratory examination was performed within 24 hours after admission.Possible determinants of a high risk of VTE were examined. In all patients with a confirmed diagnosis of DVT or suspicion of PE thoracic computer tomography (CT) was performed.
VTE was found in 7.8% out of 102 of patients, mean APACHE-II-Score was 14 (mortality risk of about 15%). Thrombus location was femoropopliteal in 5 patients, iliacal in 2 and peroneal in 1 patient. Five VTE patients had concomitant PE (62.5% of VTE, 4.9% of all patients). No predictors of prevalent VTE were identified from univariable regression analysis although relative risk was high in patients with a history of smoking (RR 3.40), immobility (RR 2.50), and elevated D-Dimer levels (RR 3.49).
Prevalent VTE and concomitant PE were frequent in acutely admitted ICU patients.
PMCID: PMC4105515  PMID: 24996222
Deep vein thrombosis; Prevalence; Ambulatory care; Intensive care; Risk factors; Venous thromboembolism
8.  Validation of the custo screen 400 ambulatory blood pressure-monitoring device according to the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol revision 2010 
The aim of the present study was to validate the custo screen 400 ambulatory blood pressure-monitoring (ABPM) device according to the 2010 International Protocol revision of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH-IP). The device can be used for ABPM for up to 72 hours.
Materials and methods
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP, respectively) were sequentially measured in 33 adult subjects (13 males and 20 females) and compared with a standard mercury sphygmomanometer (two observers). A total of 99 comparison pairs were obtained.
The custo screen 400 met the requirements of parts 1 and 2 of the ESH-IP revision 2010. The mean difference between the device and reference sphygmomanometer readings was −0.5±4.5 mmHg for SBP and −0.1±3.3 mmHg for DBP. All but one measurement were within the absolute difference of 10 mmHg between the device and the observers for SBP and DBP. The number of absolute differences between the device and the observers within a range of 5 mmHg was 84 of 99 readings for SBP, and 93 of 99 readings for DBP.
The custo screen 400 ABPM device met the requirements of the 2010 ESH-IP revision, and hence can be recommended for ABPM in adults. To our knowledge, the custo screen 400 is the first device to pass the revised ESH-IP 2010.
PMCID: PMC4027883  PMID: 24868162
validation; ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; ESH
9.  Factors influencing dyslipidemia in statin-treated patients in Lebanon and Jordan: results of the Dyslipidemia International Study 
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Therefore, as part of the Dyslipidemia International Study (DYSIS), we have analyzed the prevalence of lipid abnormalities and risk factors for dyslipidemia in statin-treated patients in Lebanon and Jordan.
This cross-sectional, multicenter study enrolled 617 patients at 13 hospitals in Lebanon and Jordan. Patients were at least 45 years old and had been treated with statins for at least 3 months. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine patient characteristics contributing to dyslipidemia during statin therapy.
Our findings indicated that 55.9% of statin-treated patients (mean age 60.3 years, 47% female) in Lebanon and Jordan did not achieve goal levels for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which were dependent on Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) risk, and 70% of patients (76% men and 63.3% of women) were at very high cardiovascular risk. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals were not achieved in 67.2% of those with very high cardiovascular risk. The most commonly prescribed statin was atorvastatin (44.6%), followed by simvastatin (27.7%), rosuvastatin (21.2%), fluvastatin (3.3%), pravastatin (3%), and lovastatin (0.2%). Approximately half of the population was treated with a statin dose potency of 4, equaling 40 mg of simvastatin. In Lebanon and Jordan, the strongest independent associations with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol not at goal were current smoking (odds ratio [OR] 1.96; 95% confidence [CI] 1.25–3.08), diabetes mellitus (OR 2.53; 95% CI 1.70–3.77), and ischemic heart disease (OR 2.26; 95% CI 1.45–3.53), while alcohol consumption was associated with reduced risk (OR 0.12; 95% CI 0.03–0.57).
We observed that many patients in Lebanon and Jordan experienced persistent dyslipidemia during statin treatment, supporting the notion that novel lipid-lowering strategies need to be developed. Also, social programs aimed at combating the extremely high rates of tobacco use and obesity in Lebanon and Jordan are critical for combating cardiovascular disease in these countries.
PMCID: PMC4025935  PMID: 24872710
cardiovascular disease; lipid abnormalities; statins; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
10.  Effects of saxagliptin on early microvascular changes in patients with type 2 diabetes 
Patients with diabetes mellitus are at increased risk for microvascular complications. Early changes in microcirculation are characterized by hyperperfusion (e.g. in the retina and kidney) and increased pulse wave reflection leading to increased aortic pressure. We investigated the effects of the DPP-4-inhibitor saxagliptin on early retinal microvascular changes.
In this double-blind, controlled, cross-over trial 50 patients (without clinical signs of microvascular alterations) with type-2 diabetes (mean duration of 4 years) were randomized to receive placebo or 5 mg saxagliptin for 6 weeks. Retinal arteriolar structure and retinal capillary flow (RCF) at baseline and during flicker-light exposure was assessed by scanning laser Doppler flowmetry. Central hemodynamics were assessed by pulse wave analysis.
Postprandial blood glucose (9.27 ± 0.4 versus 10.1 ± 0.4 mmol/L; p = 0.001) and HbA1c (6.84 ± 0.15 (51 ± 1.6) versus 7.10 ± 0.17% (54 ± 1.9 mmol/mol); p < 0.001) were significantly reduced with saxagliptin treatment compared to placebo. RCF was significantly reduced after treatment with saxagliptin (288 ± 13.2 versus 314 ± 14.1 AU; p = 0.033). This was most pronounced in a subgroup of patients (n = 32) with a fall in postprandial blood glucose (280 ± 12.1 versus 314 ± 16.6 AU; p = 0.011). No significant changes in RCF were seen during flicker-light exposure between placebo and saxagliptin, but the vasodilatory capacity increased two-fold with saxagliptin treatment. Central augmentation pressure tended to be lower after treatment with saxagliptin (p = 0.094), and central systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced (119 ± 2.3 versus 124 ± 2.3 mmHg; p = 0.038).
Our data suggest that treatment with saxagliptin for 6 weeks normalizes retinal capillary flow and improves central hemodynamics in type-2 diabetes.
Trial registration
The study was registered at (ID: NCT01319357).
PMCID: PMC3897922  PMID: 24423149
Saxagliptin; DPP-4 inhibitor; Type-2 diabetes; Retinal blood flow; Central hemodynamics
11.  Results of the Dyslipidemia International Study (DYSIS)-Middle East: Clinical Perspective on the Prevalence and Characteristics of Lipid Abnormalities in the Setting of Chronic Statin Treatment 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84350.
Therapeutic intervention with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering agents known as statins has been demonstrated to reduce cardiovascular risk. However, many patients on statin treatment have persistent dyslipidemia and remain at a high risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the frequency of lipid abnormalities in patients receiving chronic statin treatment.
As part of an international, cross-sectional, observational study, DYSIS-Middle East enrolled 2,182 patients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan. All patients were over 45 years of age and had been on statin treatment for at least three months. Data on demographics, lipid parameters and cardiovascular risk profile were recorded. Cardiovascular risk was defined according the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology.
The majority of patients (82.6%) were classified as being at very high risk of cardiovascular events, and 61.8% of all patients did not attain LDL-C target levels. Low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and elevated triglyceride levels were noted in 55.5% and 48.5% of patients, respectively. Multivariate logistical regression modeling indicated that factors independently associated with LDL-C levels not being at goal were lifestyle choices, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, and blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mmHg.
Almost two-thirds of statin-treated patients in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan had inadequately controlled lipid levels. More comprehensive surveillance, awareness and treatment regimens, as well as modification of lifestyle choices, is necessary to halt the rise in cardiovascular disease-related mortality.
PMCID: PMC3882235  PMID: 24400085
12.  Efficacy and safety of insulin glargine added to a fixed-dose combination of metformin and a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor: results of the GOLD observational study 
For patients with type 2 diabetes who are uncontrolled on a combination of two oral antidiabetic agents, addition of the long-acting basal insulin glargine is a well established treatment option. However, data on the efficacy and safety of a combination of metformin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, and insulin glargine are limited in real-world settings. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze blood glucose control, rates of hypoglycemia and body weight in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes treated with this combination therapy in real practice.
This noninterventional, multicenter, prospective, observational trial with a follow-up of 20 weeks enrolled insulin-naïve patients who had been on a stable fixed dose of metformin and a DPP-4 inhibitor for at least 3 months, and had a glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) between 7.5% and 10%. Patients were selected at the investigators’ discretion for initiation of insulin glargine at baseline. A total of 1,483 patients were included, of whom 1,262 were considered to be the efficacy set. Primary efficacy parameters were HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose. Secondary outcome measures included achievement of glycemic targets, body weight, rates of hypoglycemia, and other safety parameters, as well as resource consumption.
Upon initiation of insulin glargine, mean HbA1c decreased from 8.51% to 7.36% (−1.15%±0.91%; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.20 to −1.10). An HbA1c level <6.5% was achieved in 8.2% of patients and a level <7.0% in 31.5%. Mean fasting plasma glucose decreased from 174±47 mg/dL to 127±31 mg/dL (−47.3±44.1 mg/dL; 95% CI −49.8 to −44.8). In 11.9% of patients, a fasting plasma glucose level <100 mg/dL was achieved. Bodyweight decreased on average by 0.98±3.90 kg (95% CI 1.19–0.76). Hypoglycemia (blood glucose ≤70 mg/dL) was observed in 29 patients (2.30%), of whom six (0.48%) had nocturnal hypoglycemia and four (0.32%) had documented severe events (blood glucose <56 mg/dL).
The results of this observational study show that insulin glargine, when added to a fixed-dose combination of metformin and a DPP-4 inhibitor, resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement of glycemic control. Importantly, this intervention did not interfere with the action of the DPP-4 inhibitors, resulting in neutral effects on weight and low rates of hypoglycemia. We conclude that this treatment intensification approach may be useful, efficient, and safe in daily clinical practice for patients with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3833837  PMID: 24259985
diabetes; dipeptidyl dipeptidase-4 inhibitors; metformin; insulin glargine
13.  Prevalence of dyslipidaemia in statin-treated patients in South Africa: results of the DYSlipidaemia International Study (DYSIS) 
Cardiovascular Journal of Africa  2013;24(8):330-338.
Introduction and objectives
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide and increased levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) are an important modifiable risk factor. Statins lower LDL-C levels and have been shown to reduce CVD risk. Despite the widespread availability of statins, many patients do not reach the lipid targets recommended by guidelines. We evaluated lipid goal attainment in statin-treated patients in South Africa and analysed variables contributing to poor goal attainment as part of the DYSlipidaemia International Study (DYSIS).
This cross-sectional, observational study enrolled 1 029 consecutive South African patients consulting officebased physicians. Patients were at least 45 years old, had to be treated with a stable dose of statins for at least three months and had been fasting for 12 hours. We evaluated lipid goal attainment and examined variables associated with residual dyslipidaemia [abnormal levels of LDL-C, highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and/or triglycerides (TG)].
We found that 50.3% of the patients overall did not achieve target LDL-C levels and 73.5% of patients were at very high cardiovascular risk. In addition, 33.7% had low levels of HDL-C, while 45.3% had elevated TG levels despite statin therapy. Asian and mixed-ancestry patients but not black (vs Caucasian ethnicity), as well as obese individuals in South Africa were more likely to still have dyslipidaemia involving all three lipid fractions.
We observed that many patients in South Africa experienced persistent dyslipidaemia despite statin treatment, supporting the concept that there is a need for more intensive statin therapy or the development of novel treatment strategies. Measures aimed at combating obesity and other lifestyle-related risk factors are also vital for effectively controlling dyslipidaemia and reducing the burden of CVD.
PMCID: PMC3821092  PMID: 24240385
cardiovascular disease (CVD); dyslipidaemia; lipid abnormalities; statins; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)
14.  Cardiac implications of hypoglycaemia in patients with diabetes – a systematic review 
Hypoglycaemia has been associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) risk and mortality in a number of recent multicentre trials, but the mechanistic links driving this association remain ill defined. This review aims to summarize the available data on how hypoglycaemia may affect CV risk in patients with diabetes.
This was a systematic review of available mechanistic and clinical studies on the relationship between hypoglycaemia and cardiovascular risk. Study outcomes were compiled from relevant articles, and factors contributing to hypoglycaemia-mediated CVD and its complications are discussed.
Six recent comprehensive clinical trials have reinforced the critical importance of understanding the link between hypoglycaemia and the CV system. In addition, 88 studies have indicated that hypoglycaemia mechanistically contributes to CV risk by increasing thrombotic tendency, causing abnormal cardiac repolarization, inducing inflammation, and contributing to the development of atherosclerosis. These hypoglycaemia-associated risk factors are conducive to events such as unstable angina, non-fatal and fatal myocardial infarction, sudden death, and stroke in patients with diabetes.
Emerging data suggest that there is an impact of hypoglycaemia on CV function and mechanistic link is multifactorial. Further research will be needed to ascertain the full impact of hypoglycaemia on the CV system and its complications.
PMCID: PMC3849493  PMID: 24053606
Hypoglycaemia; Cardiovascular risk; Arrhythmia; Continuous glucose monitoring; Randomized controlled trials
15.  Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of a fixed-dose combination of olmesartan 40 mg and hydrochlorothiazide 12.5/25 mg in daily practice 
The safety and efficacy of olmesartan 40 mg and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) as a fixed-dose combination has been investigated in clinical trials leading to its approval. The aims of the present study were to confirm these data in an unselected patient population in daily practice and to determine the impact of physical activity on blood pressure control.
In a multicenter, noninterventional study, 3,333 patients with either insufficient blood pressure control on olmesartan 40 mg alone or on a fixed/free combination of olmesartan 40 mg and HCTZ 12.5/25 mg were primarily assessed for safety and tolerability of the fixed-dose combination of olmesartan 40 mg and HCTZ 12.5/25 mg at 24 ± 2 weeks. Secondary objectives were blood pressure reduction, treatment compliance, and impact of physical activity as measured by the sum of weekly energy costs.
The mean patient age was 63.2 ± 11.46 years, mean baseline blood pressure was 159.6 ± 15.28/93.5 ± 9.52 mmHg, and 70.9% had at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor. Adverse drug reactions were rare (n = 19), and no serious adverse drug reactions occurred. Compliance with drug therapy was at least sufficient in more than 99% of patients at the end of the study. Blood pressure at the last available visit was reduced by 26.1 ± 15.5/13.0 ± 10.1 mmHg versus baseline (P < 0.0001), but had reduced effectiveness in patients ≥75 years with diabetes or impaired renal function. In 69% of patients, blood pressure was normalized (<140/90 mmHg). No noteworthy differences in baseline characteristics or baseline blood pressure were found between patients with an activity level (sum of weekly energy costs) above or below the median of 9,460.6. A higher versus lower physical activity score had no impact on blood pressure reduction.
Our data confirm randomized trial data concerning safe and efficient blood pressure reduction using a fixed-dose combination of olmesartan 40 mg and HCTZ 12.5/25 mg in a large, unselected patient population, independent of physical activity level.
PMCID: PMC3769201  PMID: 24039432
blood pressure; antihypertensive agents; administration; dosage; physical activity
16.  EARLY Treatment with azilsartan compared to ACE-inhibitors in anti-hypertensive therapy – rationale and design of the EARLY hypertension registry 
Arterial hypertension is highly prevalent but poorly controlled. Blood pressure (BP) reduction substantially reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent randomized, double-blind clinical trials demonstrated that azilsartan medoxomil (AZM) is more effective in reducing BP than the ubiquitary ACE inhibitor ramipril. Therefore, we aimed to test whether these can be verified under clinical practice conditions.
The “Treatment with Azilsartan Compared to ACE-Inhibitors in Anti-Hypertensive Therapy” (EARLY) registry is a prospective, observational, national, multicenter registry with a follow-up of up to 12 months. It will include up to 5000 patients on AZM or ACE-inhibitor monotherapy in a ratio of 7 to 3. A subgroup of patients will undergo 24-hour BP monitoring. EARLY has two co-primary objectives: 1) Description of the safety profile of azilsartan and 2) achievement of BP targets based on recent national and international guidelines for patients treated with azilsartan in comparison to those treated with ACE-inhibitors. The most important secondary endpoints are the determination of persistence with treatment and the documentation of cardiovascular and renal events. Recruitment commenced in January 2012 and will be completed by February 2013.
The data obtained will supplement previous results from randomized controlled trials to document the potential value of utilizing azilsartan medoxomil in comparison to ACE-inhibitor treatment for target BP achievement in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3706336  PMID: 23819631
Azilsartan; Ramipril; ACE-Inhibitors; Non-Interventional; Blood Pressure; Follow-up; Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement; Central Systolic Blood Pressure
17.  The role of co-morbidity in the selection of antidiabetic pharmacotherapy in type-2 diabetes 
Metformin is, if not contraindicated and if tolerated, usually preferred over other antidiabetic drugs for the first line treatment of type-2 diabetes. The particular decision on which antidiabetic agent to use is based on variables such as efficacy, cost, potential side effects, effects on weight, comorbidities, hypoglycemia, risk, and patient preferences. However, there is no guidance how to consider these in the selection of antidiabetic drug treatment. In this work, we aimed to summarize available evidence and tried to give pragmatic treatment recommendations from a clinical practice perspective.
There are clear contraindications for some drugs in those with impaired renal and liver function and precautions in those with heart failure for the use of metformin (NYHA III-IV) and glitazones. On the other hand, GLP-1 analogs, DPP-4 inhibitors and acarbose are generally less critical and can be used in the majority of patients. We identified the following gaps with respect to the selection of antidiabetic drug treatment in patients with co-morbid disease conditions: 1) Guidelines fail to give advice on the use of specific antidiabetic drugs in patients with co-morbidity. 2) The literature is deficient in studies documenting antidiabetic drug use in patients with severely impaired renal function, diabetic retinopathy, cerebrovascular disease and systolic heart failure. 3) Further there are no specific data on patients with multiple of these co-morbid disease conditions. We postulate that differential use of antidiabetic drugs in patients with co-morbid disease constellations will help to reduce treatment related complications and might improve prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3664601  PMID: 23574917
18.  Co-morbidity but not dysglycaemia reduces quality of life in patients with type-2 diabetes treated with oral mono- or dual combination therapy – an analysis of the DiaRegis registry 
Type-2 diabetes mellitus has a major impact on health related quality of life (HRQoL). We aimed to identify patient and treatment related variables having a major impact.
DiaRegis is a prospective diabetes registry. The EQ-5D was used to describe differences in HRQoL at baseline. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were determined from univariable regression analysis. For the identification of independent predictors of a low score on the EQ-5D, multivariable unconditional logistic regression analysis was performed.
A total of 2,760 patients were available for the present analysis (46.7% female, median age 66.2 years). Patients had considerable co-morbidity (18.3% coronary artery disease, 10.6% heart failure, 5.9% PAD and 5.0% stroke/TIA). Baseline HbA1c was 7.4%, fasting- and postprandial plasma glucose 139 mg/dl and 183 mg/dl.
The median EQ-5D was 0.9 (interquartile range [IQR] 0.8–1.0). Independent predictors for a low EQ-5D were age > 66 years (OR 1.49; 95%CI 1.08–2.06), female gender (2.11; 1.55–2.86), hypertension (1.73; 1.03–2.93), peripheral neuropathy (1.62; 0.93–2.84) and clinically relevant depression (11.01; 3.97–30.50). There was no influence of dysglycaemia on the EQ-5D score.
The present study suggests, that co-morbidity but not average glycaemic control reduces health related quality of life in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
PMCID: PMC3606825  PMID: 23510200
19.  Achievement of recommended glucose and blood pressure targets in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension in clinical practice – study rationale and protocol of DIALOGUE 
Patients with type 2 diabetes have 2–4 times greater risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than those without, and this is even further aggravated if they also suffer from hypertension. Unfortunately, less than one third of hypertensive diabetic patients meet blood pressure targets, and more than half fail to achieve target HbA1c values. Thus, appropriate blood pressure and glucose control are of utmost importance. Since treatment sometimes fails in clinical practice while clinical trials generally suggest good efficacy, data from daily clinical practice, especially with regard to the use of newly developed anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive compounds in unselected patient populations, are essential. The DIALOGUE registry aims to close this important gap by evaluating different treatment approaches in hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients with respect to their effectiveness and tolerability and their impact on outcomes. In addition, DIALOGUE is the first registry to determine treatment success based on the new individualized treatment targets recommended by the ADA and the EASD.
DIALOGUE is a prospective observational German multicentre registry and will enrol 10,000 patients with both diabetes and hypertension in up to 700 sites. After a baseline visit, further documentations are scheduled at 6, 12 and 24 months. There are two co-primary objectives referring to the most recent guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and hypertension: 1) individual HbA1c goal achievement with respect to anti-diabetic pharmacotherapy and 2) individual blood pressure goal achievement with different antihypertensive treatments. Among the secondary objectives the rate of major cardio-vascular and cerebro-vascular events (MACCE) and the rate of hospitalizations are the most important.
The registry will be able to gain insights into the reasons for the obvious gap between the demonstrated efficacy and safety of anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive drugs in clinical trials and their real world balance of effectiveness and safety.
PMCID: PMC3537604  PMID: 23216660
Type-2 diabetes; Hypertension; Efficacy; Effectiveness; Safety; Vildagliptin
20.  Incidence and predictors of hypoglycaemia in type 2 diabetes – an analysis of the prospective DiaRegis registry 
Hypoglycaemia is a serious adverse effect of antidiabetic drug therapy. We aimed to determine incidence rates of hypoglycaemia in type-2 diabetic patients and identify predictors of hypoglycaemia when treatment is intensified.
DiaRegis is a prospective German registry that follows 3810 patients with type-2 diabetes referred for treatment intensification because of insufficient glycaemic control on one or two oral antidiabetic drugs.
Out of a total of 3347 patients with data available for the present analysis 473 (14.1%) presented any severity hypoglycaemia over a follow-up of 12 months. 0.4% were hospitalized (mean of 1.3±0.6 episodes), 0.1% needed medical assistance (1.0±0.0), 0.8% needed any help (1.1±0.5) and 10.1% no help (3.4±3.7), and 8.0% had no specific symptoms (3.6±3.5). Patients with incident hypoglycaemia had longer diabetes duration, higher HbA1c and a more frequent smoking history; more had co-morbid disease conditions such as coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, amputation, heart failure, peripheral neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy and clinically relevant depression at baseline. Multivariable adjusted positive predictors of incident hypoglycaemia over the follow-up were prior anamnestic hypoglycaemia, retinopathy, depression, insulin use and blood glucose self-measurement, but not sulfonylurea use as previously reported for anamnestic or recalled hypogylcaemia. On the contrary, glitazones, DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues were associated with a reduced risk of hypoglycaemia.
Hypoglycaemia is a frequent adverse effect in ambulatory patients when antidiabetic treatment is intensified. Particular attention is warranted in patients with prior episodes of hypoglycaemia, microvascular disease such as retinopathy and in patients receiving insulin. On the other hand glitazones, DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues are associated with a reduced risk.
PMCID: PMC3515411  PMID: 23075070
21.  Oral antidiabetic treatment in type-2 diabetes in the elderly: balancing the need for glucose control and the risk of hypoglycemia 
We aimed at identifying variables predicting hypoglycemia in elderly type 2 diabetic patients and the relation to HbA1c values achieved.
Prospective, observational registry in 3810 patients in primary care. Comparison of patients in different age tertiles: with an age < 60 (young, n=1,253), age 60 to < 70 (middle aged, n=1,184) to those ≥ 70 years (elderly, n=1,373). Odds Ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were determined from univariable and multivariable regression analyses.
Elderly patients had a later diabetes diagnosis, a longer diabetes duration, better glucose control and more frequent co-morbid disease conditions. Overall 10.7% of patients experienced any severity hypoglycemia within the last 12 months prior to inclusion. Higher rates of hypoglycemia were observed in the elderly than in the young after adjusting for differences in HbA1c, fasting and post-prandial blood glucose (OR 1.68; 95%CI 1.16-2.45). This was particularly true for hypoglycemic episodes without specific symptoms (OR 1.74; 95%CI 1.05-2.89). In a multivariate model stroke / transitory ischemic attack, the presence of heart failure, clinically relevant depression, sulfonylurea use and blood glucose self-measurement were associated with hypoglycemic events.
Elderly patients are at an increased risk of hypoglycemia even at comparable glycemic control. Therefore identified variables associated with hypoglycemia in the elderly such as heart failure, clinically relevant depression, the use of sulfonylurea help to optimize the balance between glucose control and low levels of hypoglycemia. Asymptomatic hypoglycemia should not be disregarded as irrelevant but considered as a sign of possible hypoglycemia associated autonomic failure.
PMCID: PMC3508810  PMID: 23039216
22.  Microalbuminuria indicates long-term vascular risk in patients after acute stroke undergoing in-patient rehabilitation 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:102.
Patients in neurologic in-patient rehabilitation are at risk of cardio- and cerebrovascular events. Microalbuminuria (MAU) is frequent and an important risk predictor but has not been validated in in-patient rehabilitation. We therefore aimed to examine MAU as an indicator of risk and predictor of vascular events in a prospective study.
The INSIGHT (INvestigation of patients with ischemic Stroke In neuroloGic reHabiliTation) registry is the first to provide large scale data on 1,167 patients with acute stroke (< 3 months) that survived the initial phase of high risk and were undergoing neurologic in-patient rehabilitation. MAU was determined by dipstick-testing and correlated to baseline clinical variables (stroke-origin, functional impairment, co-morbidity, ankle-brachial-index, intima-media-thickeness) as well as vascular events after one year of follow-up. Comparisons were made with the χ2 or Mann–Whitney-U Test. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using log-binominal models. To evaluate the association between MAU and new vascular events as well as mortality, we calculated hazard ratios (HR) using Cox proportional hazard regression.
A substantial proportion of patients was MAU positive at baseline (33.1%). Upon univariate analysis these patients were about 4 years older (69 vs. 65 years; p < 0.0001), had a slightly higher body mass index (27.8 vs. 27.1 kg/m2; p = 0.03) and increased waist circumference (79.5 vs. 50.4% for women [p < 0.0001] and 46.8 vs. 43.2% for men [p = 0.04]) and twice as often had diabetes mellitus (41.8 vs. 20.1%; p < 0.0001). Patients with MAU had a similar NIH stroke scale score (median 3 vs. 3; p = 0.379) but had lower values on the Barthel Index (median 75 vs. 90; p < 0.001). They had higher rates of atrial fibrillation (RR 1.38; 95% CI 1.09-1.75), coronary artery disease (RR 1.54; 95% CI 1.18-2.00), heart failure (RR 1.70; 95% CI 1.10-2.60) symptomatic peripheral artery disease (RR 2.30; 95% CI 1.40-3.80) and atherosclerotic stroke etiology (53.7 vs. 35.4%; p < 0.0001). MAU was associated with an increased intima-media-thickness, decreased ankle-brachial-index and polyvascular disease (RR 1.56; 95%CI 1.31-1.99). The event rate after a median follow-up of 13 months was 6.7% for fatal or nonfatal stroke, 4.7% for death, and 10.9% for combined vascular events (stroke, MI, vascular death). The presence of MAU was predictive for vascular events during the following year (HR for total mortality 2.2; 95% CI 1.3-3.7; HR for cardiovascular events 2.3; 95% 1.2 - 4.4).
INSIGHT demonstrated a significant association between MAU and polyvascular disease and further supports previous findings that MAU predicts cardio-/cerebrovascular events in patients recovering from ischemic stroke. This biomarker may also be used in patients during neurologic in-patient rehabilitation, opening a window of opportunity for early intervention in this patient group at increased risk for recurrent events.
PMCID: PMC3517490  PMID: 23007013
23.  Diabetes prevalence and metabolic risk profile in an unselected population visiting pharmacies in Switzerland 
Diabetes represents one of the major health challenges in Switzerland, and early diagnosis and treatment is mandatory to prevent or delay diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. For the purpose of identifying affected individuals, early screening in pharmacies is a valuable option. In this survey, we aimed to determine blood glucose and metabolic control in an unselected population of individuals visiting Swiss pharmacies.
The subjects responded to a short questionnaire and underwent a single capillary blood glucose test for screening purposes. They were classified as normal, indeterminate, impaired fasting glucose, and diabetes according to predefined blood glucose levels.
A total of 3135 individuals (mean age 56 years) in 18 cantons were screened in November 2010; of these, 4.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.5–4.9) had previously been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes was newly diagnosed in 1.9% (95% CI 1.5–2.4), and 11.5% (95% CI 10.4–12.6) had impaired fasting glucose. Subjects with impaired glucose control had an increased body mass index, a frequent family history of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, and a low level of physical activity. Prevalence of impaired glucose control was different between the French/Italian-speaking part of Switzerland (new diabetes 4.9%; impaired fasting glucose 12.7%) and the German-speaking part (new diabetes 1.9%; impaired fasting glucose 10.3%).
Our study shows a 6.1% prevalence of diabetes, of which about a third (1.9%) was previously undiagnosed, and 11.5% had impaired fasting glucose. Therefore, screening initiatives in pharmacies may be suitable for detecting people with undiagnosed diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3459687  PMID: 23049259
diabetes; pharmacy; epidemiology; screening
24.  Improved survival of patients with coronary artery disease and low ejection fraction with ICD implantation versus conventional therapy in a real world survey 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:382.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is associated with an increased risk for sudden cardiac death. Randomized controlled trials have shown that implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) improve life expectancy unless they are implanted within the first days after an acute myocardial infarction and guidelines recommend their use. We aimed to validate that these results also apply to patients of a typical community hospital in Germany.
This was a retrospective analysis of patients undergoing coronary angiography in the Lippe-Detmold Hospital between 2003 and 2006. They had to have significant CAD and an ejection fraction (EF) ≤ 35% and no acute myocardial infarction within 28 days of implantation and no history of ventricular fibrillation.
213 patients were included; 70 of which received an ICD. Patients with an ICD implantation were younger (64.8 ± 9.9 vs. 67.9 ± 9.8 years; p = 0.034), had single vessel CAD more frequently (22.9 vs. 11.2%; p = 0.025) and a lower EF (26.7 ± 6.3 vs. 29.1 ± 4.6%; p = 0.006). Hospital readmissions were comparable between the ICD and the control group (68.6 vs. 72.0%; p = 0.602). ICD therapy was associated with a considerable survival benefit compared to conventional therapy (HR 0.52; 95%CI 0.29-0.93; p = 0.027) in a Cox-Proportional Hazards Regression analysis.
Appreciating the potential limitations of retrospective studies, we found that ICD use was associated with improved survival in patients with significant CAD and an EF <= 35% typical for a large tertiary hospital.
PMCID: PMC3457837  PMID: 22840219
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator; Cohort study; Myocardial infarction
25.  A multi-center, prospective, open-label, 8-week study of certoparin for anticoagulation during maintenance hemodialysis – the membrane study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:50.
Adequate anticoagulation is prerequisite for effective hemodialysis to prevent clotting in the extracorporeal circuit. We aimed providing first data on the efficacy and safety of the low-molecular-weight heparin certoparin in this setting.
Multicenter, open-label, 8-week trial. Patients received a single dose of 3,000 IU certoparin i.v. with additional titration steps of 600 IU and/or continuous infusion if necessary.
120 patients were screened, 109 enrolled (median age 71; range 26–90 years) and 106 available for efficacy analyses. The percentage of unsatisfactory dialysis results at 8 weeks due to clotting or bleeding, was 1.9% (n = 2/106; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23–6.65%); no major bleeding. 1.9% had moderate/severe clotting in the lines/bubble catcher and 2.8% in the dialyser at week 8. 15.7 ± 14.3% of the dialysis filters’ visual surface area was showing redness. In subgroups of patients receiving median doses of 3000 ± 0, 3000 (2400–6000) and 4200 (3000–6600) IU, plasma aXa levels at baseline, 4 and 8 weeks were 0.24 [95%CI 0.21–0.27], 0.33 [0.27–0.40] and 0.38 [0.33–0.45] aXa IU/ml at 2 h. C48h was 0.01 [0.01–0.02] aXa IU at all visits. At baseline and 4 weeks AUC0-48h was 2.66 [2.19–3.24] and 3.66 [3.00–4.45] aXa IU*h/ml. In 3.0% of dialyses (n = 83/2724) prolonged fistula compression times were documented. Eight patients (7.34%) had at least one episode of minor bleeding. 4) 85.3% of patients had any adverse event, 9.2% were serious without suspected drug relation; and in 32 patients a drug-relation was suspected.
Certoparin appears effective and safe for anticoagulation in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis.
PMCID: PMC3508880  PMID: 22742742

Results 1-25 (54)