Results from a landmark study in more than 9,000 individual cases showed that the high blood pressure medicine valsartan delayed progression to type 2 diabetes in patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
Primary data from the NAVIGATOR (Nateglinide And Valsartan in Impaired Glucose Tolerance Outcomes Research) trial, initiated in 2001, were presented today at the American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting in Atlanta, USA and simultaneously published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study assessed whether valsartan or the oral anti-diabetic agent nateglinide could delay progression to diabetes or reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events in people with IGT and cardiovascular disease or risk factors.
Dr. Robert Califf, Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research at Duke University School of Medicine and Director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, Durham, NC, USA. “Obesity and hypertension are global health epidemics, and many of these patients have problems with impaired glucose tolerance. From numerous studies, we know that patients with IGT have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
“It is critical that we continue to search for pharmacologic interventions that may reduce the incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease while emphasizing to our patients that weight loss, as little as 5%, may improve outcomes.”
Patients in the study with IGT and cardiovascular disease or other risk factors, who received valsartan for at least five years in addition to background therapy and a study-specific lifestyle-modification program, achieved a statistically significant 14% reduction in their risk of developing new-onset diabetes compared to those in the non-valsartan group.
Valsartan therapy did not show a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events in this well-managed group of patients, while nateglinide-based therapy did not show a reduction in the incidence of new-onset diabetes or of cardiovascular events in this study population.
Trevor Mundel, M.D., Global Head of Development at Novartis Pharma AG said: “As a global leader in cardiovascular and metabolic health, Novartis is committed to advancing public health and policy pertaining to diabetes. We are very pleased with the findings of the NAVIGATOR study as they add to the large body of scientific information on valsartan.”
Dr Rury Holman, Professor of Diabetic Medicine at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, University of Oxford, United Kingdom said “Lifestyle modification remains the primary intervention for the prevention of diabetes. The NAVIGATOR study shows that valsartan, when added to a lifestyle-modification program, can delay progression to diabetes in people who are at high cardiovascular risk and have impaired glucose tolerance.”