UIC Studies Aspirin-Like Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Released: 8/23/2007 2:20 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Illinois at Chicago
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Newswise — The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of 16 sites in the United States taking part in the first large-scale study to test a promising approach to lowering blood glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

The clinical trial will investigate whether a common anti-inflammatory drug known as salsalate, used to manage arthritis pain, can reduce blood glucose levels in people with type 2, or adult onset, diabetes. The study is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Nearly 21 million people in the United States have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 percent to 95 percent of diagnosed cases and is closely linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney disease and amputations. People with type 2 diabetes die at rates two to four times higher than those who do not have diabetes.

Recent research suggests that chronic inflammation may be involved in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, says Theodore Mazzone, professor of medicine at UIC and principal investigator of the clinical trial at that site.

"By targeting the underlying cause, we hope to determine if reducing inflammation, and thereby lowering blood glucose levels, is a safe and cost-effective treatment for diabetes," Mazzone said. "If this drug treatment is successful, we may also be able to reduce a person's risk of developing associated health problems, such as elevated cholesterol levels and coronary artery disease."

Salsalate is chemically similar to aspirin and has been used for more than 40 years to treat pain associated with arthritis, according to the researchers.

About 800 adults with poorly controlled blood glucose levels are being sought to participate in the three-year, multi-center study.

Researchers are seeking adults ages 18 to 75 whose glucose levels are not well controlled and who do not take insulin. Eligible participants may use no medication or take up to two oral medications to control their diabetes.

During the study, participants will be randomized to receive either salsalate or a placebo and will receive all medication and treatments related to the study free of charge. Participants will also be compensated for time and travel. For more information about the study, call Felecia Gilet at (312) 355-4442.

For more information about UIC, visit http://www.uic.edu


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