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Drug’s effect on blindness examined


A new drug has been found to reduce the incidence of the leading cause of blindness in people with type 1 diabetes and help slow its effects in type 2 diabetes patients.

Candesartan is the subject of two articles in The Lancet – the first looking at its effect on the incidence and progression of retinopathy in type 1 diabetes, while the second examined whether the drug could both slow progression and induce regression of the condition.

The first of the two articles was based on two randomised controlled trials – DIRECT-Prevent 1 for patients and DIRECT-Protect 1 for patients already with the condition. The authors found: “Although candesartan reduces the incidence of retinopathy, we did not see a beneficial effect on retinopathy progression.”

The second article looked at a similar study – DIRECT-Protect 2 – in patients with type 2 diabetes. It found that regression was increased by 34% in patients given candesartan compared with placebo, and patients in the candesartan group were 17% more likely than placebo to experience an overall change towards less severe retinopathy by the end of the trial.

The authors conclude: “These results suggest that treatment with candesartan in type 2 diabetic patients with mild to moderate retinopathy could induce improvement of retinopathy.”

Copyright PA Business 2008

The Lancet

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