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Diet drug increases risk of heart attack.

DIET DRUG INCREASES RISK OF HEART ATTACK. If you have packed on the pounds, losing weight should lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. But if you plan to use a diet drug to achieve your goal, hear this: A study reported in the September 1, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine found that overweight patients with cardiac risk factors and /or type 2 diabetes who took the weight-loss drug sibutramine (Meridia) actually increased their risk of heart attack and stroke 16 percent, even when they followed a diet-and-exercise program (Note: Meridia was taken off the market in October 2010.) The likely reason is that sibutramine increases blood pressure and resting pulse rate, both of which increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Moreover, the results might not justify the risk: The study participants lost only about 9.5 pounds the first year, then regained weight before achieving a net weight loss of 8.8 pounds.

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Publication:Duke Medicine Health News
Date:Feb 1, 2011
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