Abbott Laboratories recalled the weight loss drug Sibutramime in Canada and the U.S. due to links to serious side effects in some patients. Primary risks for patients include heart attacks and strokes in patients whom have a history of heart disease.
Sibutramime was banned along with other anti-obesity drugs in Europe in January. Health Canada has warned Canadian citizens of the risks associated with Sibutramime and has not recommended it’s use in patients with existing heart disease.
Statistical Evidence for the Recall
- Accoring to the Moose Jaw Times-Herald, the recall was granted by a panel of 16 experts in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that reviewed a study of 11,000 older, overweight, or obese adults with Type 2 diabetes or heart disease that were randomly chosen to take Meridia or a placebo drug.
- The group that took the Meridia had a 16 percent increase of having a chance of a heart attack, stroke or death as a result of heart problems compared to the group that took the placebo.
- The same group that took Meridia also had a 28 percent higher risk for non-fatal heart attacks and a 36 percent higher risk for non-fatal strokes compared to the placebo group.
Heart Disease in the United States
- In the U.S., 600,000 people die of heart disease each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women with more than half of the deaths in men in 2009 according to a study published in the National Vital Statistics Reports.
- Coronary heart disease, the most common form of heart disease, kills more than 385,000 Americans annually and costs the U.S. economy $108.9 billion each year.
- The top three risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking which can be managed through lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, following instructions of your general practitioner, eating a healthy diet low in salt and saturated fats with plenty of vegetables and fruit, as well as taking brisk 10 minute walks 3 times a day, 5 days a week, and quitting smoking.
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