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Endocr Pract. 2006 Jan-Feb;12 Suppl 1:25-30.

Acarbose for the prevention of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance: the Study to Prevent Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (STOP-NIDDM) Trial.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal and Research Center, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.



To evaluate, in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), the effect of acarbose on the incidence of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.


The Study to Prevent Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (STOP-NIDDM) Trial was an international, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized investigation, undertaken in 9 participating countries from December 1995 through August 2001. Patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo (N = 715) or acarbose, 100 mg three times a day (N = 714), and underwent follow-up for a mean of 3.3 years. Sixty-one subjects (4%) were excluded from the study because they did not have IGT or had no postrandomization data; thus, 1,368 subjects remained for intent-to-treat analysis. The outcome measures were the development of diabetes based on a single oral glucose tolerance test, the development of hypertension ((3) 140/90 mm Hg), and the development of major cardiovascular events, including coronary heart disease, cardiovascular death, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.


Two hundred eleven subjects in the acarbose-treated group and 130 in the placebo group discontinued treatment prematurely; however, they underwent follow-up for assessment of end points. Acarbose treatment resulted in a 25% relative risk reduction in the development of type 2 diabetes (hazards ratio [HR], 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 0.90; P = 0.0015), in a 34% risk reduction in the development of new cases of hypertension (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49 to 0.89; P = 0.0059), and in a 49% risk reduction in the development of cardiovascular events (HR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.95; P = 0.03). A post hoc cost-effectiveness analysis done from the Swedish perspective showed that acarbose treatment was likely to be cost-effective in the management of subjects with IGT.


The STOP-NIDDM Trial demonstrated that, in subjects with IGT, acarbose treatment was effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also suggested that it was associated with a reduction in hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

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