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Sanjay Kaul, M.D. Co-Authors Statement on Safety of Diabetes Drugs

Los Angeles – March 03, 2009 – A Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute cardiologist co-authored the joint science advisory issued by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology that calls for close monitoring of patients taking certain blood sugar-lowering drugs.

Sanjay Kaul, M.D. co-authored the advisory about drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) such as pioglitazone (Actos) or Rosiglitazone (Avandia). The advisory – published online in both Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and Journal of the American College of Cardiology -- states that the data are inconclusive on heart risks associated with the medications, but all patients taking the drugs should be closely monitored by their healthcare providers.

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee released a report earlier this month that called into question the safety of the diabetes drug rosiglitazone, citing the possibility of an increased incidence of adverse cardiovascular events. Resulting news coverage caused confusion among diabetes patients and their caregivers.

“”If you have diabetes, you do have an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events,” Kaul said. “But there simply is not enough data to conclude whether these drugs are a hindrance to cardiac health. Instead, I would encourage diabetes patients to follow the protocols their doctors have established to control their diabetes and to discuss their concerns with their doctors.”

About the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is internationally recognized for outstanding heart care built on decades of innovation and research. From cardiac imaging and advanced diagnostics to surgical repair of complex heart problems to the training of the heart specialists of tomorrow and leading-edge research that is deepening medical knowledge and practice, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is known around the world for excellence and innovations.