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1.  A real world comparison of sulfonylurea and insulin vs. incretin-based treatments in patients not controlled on prior metformin monotherapy 
Aims
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/s12933-015-0172-9
PMCID: PMC4324641  PMID: 25645672
Diabetes; Strategies; Oral antidiabetic drugs; Insulin; Outcomes; Glucose; Effectiveness
2.  Effects of saxagliptin on early microvascular changes in patients with type 2 diabetes 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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).
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-19
PMCID: PMC3897922  PMID: 24423149
Saxagliptin; DPP-4 inhibitor; Type-2 diabetes; Retinal blood flow; Central hemodynamics
3.  Cardiac implications of hypoglycaemia in patients with diabetes – a systematic review 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-135
PMCID: PMC3849493  PMID: 24053606
Hypoglycaemia; Cardiovascular risk; Arrhythmia; Continuous glucose monitoring; Randomized controlled trials
4.  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.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-62
PMCID: PMC3664601  PMID: 23574917
5.  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 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
The present study suggests, that co-morbidity but not average glycaemic control reduces health related quality of life in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-47
PMCID: PMC3606825  PMID: 23510200
6.  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 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-148
PMCID: PMC3537604  PMID: 23216660
Type-2 diabetes; Hypertension; Efficacy; Effectiveness; Safety; Vildagliptin
7.  Oral antidiabetic treatment in type-2 diabetes in the elderly: balancing the need for glucose control and the risk of hypoglycemia 
Background
We aimed at identifying variables predicting hypoglycemia in elderly type 2 diabetic patients and the relation to HbA1c values achieved.
Design
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-122
PMCID: PMC3508810  PMID: 23039216
8.  Ramipril-based versus diuretic-based antihypertensive primary treatment in patients with pre-diabetes (ADaPT) study 
Background
Previous randomized controlled trials demonstrated a protective effect of renin angiotensin system blocking agents for the development of type-2 diabetes in patients with pre-diabetes. However, there are no real-world data available to illustrate the relevance for clinical practice.
Methods
Open, prospective, parallel group study comparing patients with an ACE inhibitor versus a diuretic based treatment. The principal aim was to document the first manifestation of type-2 diabetes in either group.
Results
A total of 2,011 patients were enrolled (mean age 69.1 ± 10.3 years; 51.6% female). 1,507 patients were available for the per-protocol analysis (1,029 ramipril, 478 diuretic group). New-onset diabetes was less frequent in the ramipril than in the diuretic group over 4 years. Differences were statistically different at a median duration of 3 years (24.4% vs 29.5%; p < 0.05). Both treatments were equally effective in reducing BP (14.7 ± 18.0/8.5 ± 8.2 mmHg and 12.7 ± 18.1/7.0 ± 8.3 mmHg) at the 4 year follow-up (p < 0.001 vs. baseline; p = n.s. between groups). In 38.6% and 39.7% of patients BP was below 130/80 mmHg (median time-to-target 3 months). There was a significant reduction of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in favour of ramipril (p = 0.033). No significant differences were found for a change in HbA1c as well as for fasting blood glucose levels during follow-up. The rate of adverse events was higher in diuretic treated patients (SAE 15.4 vs. 12.4%; p < 0.05; AE 26.6 vs. 25.6%; p = n.s).
Conclusions
Ramipril treatment is preferable over diuretic based treatment regimens for the treatment of hypertension in pre-diabetic patients, because new-onset diabetes is delayed.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-1
PMCID: PMC3313888  PMID: 22230104
9.  Antidiabetic pharmacotherapy and anamnestic hypoglycemia in a large cohort of type 2 diabetic patients - an analysis of the DiaRegis registry 
Background
We aimed to identify predictors of anamnestic hypoglycaemia in type-2 diabetic patients on oral mono- or dual oral combination antidiabetic pharmacotherapy.
Methods
DiaRegis is a prospective registry in type-2 diabetic patients in primary care. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals were determined from univariate logistic regression. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis with stepwise backward selection at an alpha of 0.05 independent predictors of hypoglycaemia were determined.
Results
3,808 patients had data on hypoglycaemia available (median age 65.9 years, 46.6% female). 10.8% had at least one anamnestic hypoglycaemic episode within the previous 12 months. Patients with hypoglycaemia received more sulfonylureas (OR 2.16; 95%CI 1.75-2.67) and less metformin (OR 0.64; 95%CI 0.50-0.82). On top of metformin, patients with thiazolidine (OR 0.50; 95%CI 0.28-0.89) and DPP-4 inhibitor use (OR 0.34; 95%CI 0.16-0.70) had a decreased risk for hypoglycaemia while it was again increased with sulfonylureas (OR 2.08; 95%CI 1.44-2.99). Age < 65 years was an independent predictor of a reduced hypoglycaemia incidence (OR 0.76; 95%CI 0.59-0.96), low HbA1c (OR 1.68; 95%CI 1.31-2.14), stroke/TIA (OR 1.72; 95%CI 1.08-2.72), heart failure (OR 1.77; 95%CI 1.28-2.45), and the use of sulfonylureas (OR 2.58; 95%CI 2.03-3.29) were independent predictors of increased risk.
Conclusions
The results indicate that the risk of hypoglycaemia might be substantially reduced by carefully selecting antidiabetic pharmacotherapy in patients with type-2 diabets in primary care.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-66
PMCID: PMC3162488  PMID: 21756359
10.  Diabetes treatment patterns and goal achievement in primary diabetes care (DiaRegis) - study protocol and patient characteristics at baseline 
Background
Patients with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for disease and treatment related complications after the initial approach of oral mono/dual antidiabetic therapy has failed. Data from clinical practice with respect to this patient group are however scarce. Therefore we set up a registry in primary care documenting the course and outcomes of this patient group.
Methods
Diabetes Treatment Patterns and Goal Achievement in Primary Diabetes Care (DiaRegis) is a prospective, observational, German, multicenter registry including patients with type-2 diabetes in which oral mono/dual antidiabetic therapy has failed. Data were recorded at baseline and will be prospectively documented during visits at 6 ± 1, 12 ± 2 and 24 ± 2 months. The primary objective is to estimate the proportion of patients with at least 1 episode of severe hypoglycemia within one year.
Results
313 primary care offices included 4,048 patients between June 2009 and March 2010 of which 3,810 patients fulfilled the in- and exclusion criteria. 46.7% of patients were female; patients had a median diabetes duration of 5.5 years and most were obese with respect to BMI or waist circumference. HbA1c at baseline was 7.4%, fasting plasma glucose 142 mg/dl and postprandial glucose 185 mg/dl. Co-morbidity in this patient population was substantial with 17.9% having coronary artery disease, 14.4% peripheral neuropathy, 9.9% heart failure and 6.0% peripheral arterial disease. 68.6% of patients received oral monotherapy, 31.4% dual oral combination therapy. The most frequent antidiabetic agent used as monotherapy was metformin (79.0%) followed by sulfonylureas (14.8%).
Conclusions
DiaRegis is a large, prospective registry in primary diabetes care to document the course and outcomes of patients with type-2 diabetes in which the initial approach of oral mono/dual antidiabetic therapy has failed. The two year follow-up will allow for a prospective evaluation of these patients during multiple adjustments of therapy.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-9-53
PMCID: PMC2949713  PMID: 20843379
11.  Age- and sex-specific prevalence and ten-year risk for cardiovascular disease of all 16 risk factor combinations of the metabolic syndrome - A cross-sectional study 
Background
Based on the AHA/NHLBI-definition three out of five cardiometabolic traits must be present for the diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), resulting in 16 different combination types. The associated cardiovascular risk may however be different and specific combination may be indicative of an increased risk, furthermore little is known to which extent these 16 combinations contribute to the overall prevalence of MetS. Here we assessed the prevalence of all 16 combination types of MetS, analyzed the impact of age and gender on prevalence rates, and estimated the 10-year risk of fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) of each MetS combination type.
Methods
We used data of the German Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risk Project (GEMCAS), a cross-sectional study, performed during October 2005, including 35,869 participants (aged 18-99 years, 61% women). Age-standardized prevalence and 10-year PROCAM and ESC risk scores for MI were calculated.
Results
In both men and women the combination with elevated waist-circumference, blood pressure and glucose (WC-BP-GL) was the most frequent combination (28%), however a distinct unequal distribution was observed regarding age and sex. Any combination with GL was common in the elderly, whereas any combination with dyslipidemia and without GL was frequent in the younger. Men without MetS had an estimated mean 10-year risk of 4.7% (95%-CI: 4.5%-4.8%) for MI (PROCAM), whereas the mean 10-year risk of men with MetS was clearly higher (age-standardized 7.9%; 7.8-8.0%). In women without MetS the mean 10-year risk for MI was 1.1%, in those with MetS 2.3%. The highest impact on an estimated 10-year risk for MI (PROCAM) was observed with TG-HDL-GL-BP in both sexes (men 14.7%, women 3.9%). However, we could identify combinations with equal risks of non-fatal and fatal MI compared to participants without MetS.
Conclusions
We observed large variations in the prevalence of all 16 combination types and their association to cardiovascular risk. The importance of different combinations of MetS changes with age and between genders putting emphasis on a tailored approach towards very young or very old subjects. This knowledge may guide clinicians to effectively screen individuals and prioritize diagnostic procedures depending on age and gender.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-9-34
PMCID: PMC2929217  PMID: 20696055
12.  Blood pressure reduction, persistence and costs in the evaluation of antihypertensive drug treatment – a review 
Background
Blood pressure lowering drugs are usually evaluated in short term trials determining the absolute blood pressure reduction during trough and the duration of the antihypertensive effect after single or multiple dosing. A lack of persistence with treatment has however been shown to be linked to a worse cardiovascular prognosis. This review explores the blood pressure reduction and persistence with treatment of antihypertensive drugs and the cost consequences of poor persistence with pharmaceutical interventions in arterial hypertension.
Methods
We have searched the literature for data on blood pressure lowering effects of different antihypertensive drug classes and agents, on persistence with treatment, and on related costs. Persistence was measured as patients' medication possession rate. Results are presented in the form of a systematic review.
Results
Angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARBs) have a competitive blood pressure lowering efficacy compared with ACE-inhibitors (ACEi) and calcium channel blockers (CCBs), beta-blockers (BBs) and diuretics. 8 studies describing the persistence with treatment were identified. Patients were more persistent on ARBs than on ACEi and CCBs, BBs and diuretics. Thus the product of blood pressure lowering and persistence was higher on ARBs than on any other drug class. Although the price per tablet of more recently developed drugs (ACEi, ARBs) is higher than that of older ones (diuretics and BBs), the newer drugs result in a more favourable cost to effect ratio when direct drug costs and indirect costs are also considered.
Conclusion
To evaluate drugs for the treatment of hypertension several key variables including the blood pressure lowering effect, side effects, compliance/persistence with treatment, as well as drug costs and direct and indirect costs of medical care have to be considered. ARBs, while nominally more expensive when drug costs are considered only, provide substantial cost savings and may prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality based on the more complete antihypertensive coverage. This makes ARBs an attractive choice for long term treatment of hypertension.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-18
PMCID: PMC2669450  PMID: 19327149
13.  Dyslipidemia in primary care – prevalence, recognition, treatment and control: data from the German Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risk Project (GEMCAS) 
Background
Current guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) define low thresholds for the diagnosis of dyslipidemia using total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) to guide treatment. Although being mainly a prevention tool, its thresholds are difficult to meet in clinical practice, especially primary care.
Methods
In a nationwide study with 1,511 primary care physicians and 35,869 patients we determined the prevalence of dyslipidemia, its recognition, treatment, and control rates. Diagnosis of dyslipidemia was based on TC and LDL-C. Basic descriptive statistics and prevalence rate ratios, as well as 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results
Dyslipidemia was highly frequent in primary care (76% overall). 48.6% of male and 39.9% of female patients with dyslipidemia was diagnosed by the physicians. Life style intervention did however control dyslipidemia in about 10% of patients only. A higher proportion (34.1% of male and 26.7% female) was controlled when receiving pharmacotherapy. The chance to be diagnosed and subsequently controlled using pharmacotherapy was higher in male (PRR 1.15; 95%CI 1.12–1.17), in patients with concomitant cardiovascular risk factors, in patients with hypertension (PRR 1.20; 95%CI 1.05–1.37) and cardiovascular disease (PRR 1.46; 95%CI 1.29–1.64), previous myocardial infarction (PRR 1.32; 95%CI 1.19–1.47), and if patients knew to be hypertensive (PRR 1.18; 95%CI 1.04–1.34) or knew about their prior myocardial infarction (PRR 1.17; 95%CI 1.23–1.53).
Conclusion
Thresholds of the ESC seem to be difficult to meet. A simple call for more aggressive treatment or higher patient compliance is apparently not enough to enhance the proportion of controlled patients. A shift towards a multifactorial treatment considering lifestyle interventions and pharmacotherapy to reduce weight and lipids may be the only way in a population where just to be normal is certainly not ideal.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-7-31
PMCID: PMC2572156  PMID: 18922160
14.  First-line antihypertensive treatment in patients with pre-diabetes: Rationale, design and baseline results of the ADaPT investigation 
Background
Recent clinical trials reported conflicting results on the reduction of new-onset diabetes using RAS blocking agents. Therefore the role of these agents in preventing diabetes is still not well defined. Ramipril is an ACE inhibitor (ACEi), that has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events in high risk patients and post-hoc analyses of the HOPE trial have provided evidence for its beneficial action in the prevention of diabetes.
Methods
The ADaPT investigation ("ACE inhibitor-based versus diuretic-based antihypertensive primary treatment in patients with pre-diabetes") is a 4-year open, prospective, parallel group phase IV study. It compares an antihypertensive treatment regimen based on ramipril versus a treatment based on diuretics or betablockers. The primary evaluation criterion is the first manifestation of type 2 diabetes. The study is conducted in primary care to allow the broadest possible application of its results. The present article provides an outline of the rationale, the design and baseline characteristics of AdaPT and compares these to previous studies including ASCOT-BLPA, VALUE and DREAM.
Results
Until March 2006 a total of 2,015 patients in 150 general practices (general physicians and internists) throughout Germany were enrolled. The average age of patients enrolled was 67.1 ± 10.3 years, with 47% being male and a BMI of 29.9 ± 5.0 kg/m2. Dyslipidemia was present in 56.5%. 37.8% reported a family history of diabetes, 57.8% were previously diagnosed with hypertension (usually long standing). The HbA1c value at baseline was 5.6 %. Compared to the DREAM study patients were older, had more frequently hypertension and patients with cardiovascular disease were not excluded.
Conclusion
Comparing the ADaPT design and baseline data to previous randomized controlled trial it can be acknowledged that AdaPT included patients with a high risk for diabetes development. Results are expected to be available in 2010. Data will be highly valuable for clinical practice due to the observational study design.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-7-22
PMCID: PMC2529270  PMID: 18652658
15.  Impact of 4 different definitions used for the assessment of the prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in primary healthcare:The German Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risk Project (GEMCAS) 
Background
The metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) places individuals at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prevalence rates of the population of the MetSyn are still scarce. Moreover, the impact of different definitions of the MetSyn on the prevalence is unclear. Aim here is to assess the prevalence of the MetSyn in primary health care and to investigate the impact of four different definitions of the MetSyn on the determined prevalence with regard to age, gender and socio-economic status.
Methods
The German-wide cross-sectional study was conducted during two weeks in October 2005 in 1.511 randomly selected general practices. Blood samples were analyzed, blood pressure and waist circumference assessed, data on lifestyle, medication, chronic disorders, and socio-demographic characteristics collected. MetSyn prevalence was estimated according to the definitions of NCEP ATP III (2001), AHA/NHLBI (2004, 2005), and IDF (2005). Descriptive statistics and prevalence rate ratios using the PROG GENMOD procedure, were calculated. Cohen's kappa was used as measure for interreliability between the different prevalence estimates.
Results
Data of 35,869 patients (age range: 18–99, women 61.1%) were included. The prevalence was lowest using the NCEP ATP III- (all: 19.8%, men 22.7%, women: 18.0%), highest according to the IDF-definition (32.7%, 40.3%, 28.0%). The increase in prevalence with recent definitions was more pronounced for men than for women, and was particularly high for men and women aged 60–79 years. The IDF-definition resulted in a higher prevalence especially in those with the highest educational status. Agreement (kappa) between the NCEP ATP III- and IDF-definition was 0.68 (men 0.61, women 0.74), between the updated the AHA/NHLBI- (2005) and IDF-definition 0.85 (men 0.79, women 0.89).
Conclusion
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is associated with age, gender, and educational status and increases considerably with each newly published definition. Our data highlight the need for a better evidence regarding thresholds of the components of the metabolic syndrome, especially with regard to the IDF-definition – according to which in some populations a majority of subjects are diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-22
PMCID: PMC2031874  PMID: 17822558
16.  Irbesartan for the treatment of hypertension in patients with the metabolic syndrome: A sub analysis of the Treat to Target post authorization survey. Prospective observational, two armed study in 14,200 patients 
Objectives
The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors leading to an increased risk for the subsequent development of diabetes and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Blocking the renin-angiotensin system has been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease and delay the onset of diabetes. Irbesartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) which has been shown to possess peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) activating properties, and to have a favorable metabolic profile. Current discussion is whether the addition of small doses of hydrochlorothiazide changes this profile. Therefore the efficacy, safety and metabolic profile of Irbesartan either as monotherapy or in combination therapy was assessed in patients with the metabolic syndrome in a large observational cohort in primary care.
Research design and methods
Multicenter, prospective, two-armed, post authorization study over 9 months in 14,200 patients with uncontrolled hypertension with and without the metabolic syndrome (doctors' diagnosis based on the Adult Treatment Panel III criteria 2001). Blood pressure was measured sphygmomanometrically and cardiovascular risk factors making up the criteria for the metabolic syndrome were assessed.
Main outcome measures
Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure reduction, – response, and – normalization (systolic and diastolic), changes in fasting glucose, waist circumference (abdominal obesity), serum triglycerides and HDL cholesterol as well as the proportion of patients fulfilling the criteria for the metabolic syndrome. Number and nature of adverse events (AEs).
Results
After 9 month the use of Irbesartan in monotherapy resulted in a significant reduction of blood pressure (SBP: -26.3 ± 10.1 mmHg/DBP-13.0 ± 6.6 mmHg, both p < 0.0001) in patients with the metabolic syndrome. This was accompanied by a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors: HDL cholesterol (+3.6 ± 7.2 mg/dl in men, +3.8 ± 6.5 mg/dl in women, both p < 0.0001), serum triglycerides (-28.6 ± 52.1 mg/dl, p < 0.0001), fasting blood glucose (-8.4 ± 25.1 mg/dl, p < 0.0001) and waist circumference (-2.4 ± 11.9 cm in men, -1.2 ± 14.2 in women, both p < 0.0001) were significantly improved. Irbesartan combination therapy (12.5 mg HCTZ) in patients with the metabolic syndrome: blood pressure reduction (SBP: -27.5 ± 10.1 mmHg/DBP: -14.1 ± 6.6 mmHg, both p < 0.0001), improvement in HDL cholesterol (+4.0 ± 6.8 mg/dl in men, +3.4 ± 6.8 in women, both p < 0.0001), triglycerides (-34.1 ± 52.6 mg/dl, p < 0.0001), fasting blood glucose (-10.0 ± 24.7, p < 0.0001) and waist circumference (-3.2 ± 12.7 cm in men, -1.7 ± 14.4 in women, both p < 0.0001). Tolerability was excellent: only 0.6% of patients experienced an AE.
Conclusion
There was a significant improvement in blood pressure and metabolic risk factors as a result of Irbesartan treatment. There was no evidence of a difference between monotherapy and combination therapy with regard to the cardiovascular risk profile.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-12
PMCID: PMC1853076  PMID: 17407587

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