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Curr Drug Metab. 2009 Feb;10(2):159-63.

Clinical utility of acarbose, an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor in cardiometabolic disorders.

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Department of Pathophysiology and Therapeutics of Diabetic Vascular Complications, Division of Nephrology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan.


Diabetes is associated with an increase risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recently, macrovascular complications of diabetes have been shown to start before the development of diabetes. Indeed, several clinical studies have confirmed the increased risk of CVD in patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Since postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are thought to play a central role in the development and progression of CVD in patients with IGT, amelioration of postprandial hyperglycemia as well as insulin resistance is a therapeutic target for the prevention of CVD in these high-risk patients. Acarbose, an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, delays the absorption of carbohydrate from the small intestine, thereby reducing postprandial hyperglycemia. Further, recently, acarbose has been shown to improve insulin resistance in vivo. These findings suggest that acarbose is a promising metabolic modifier that could reduce the risk of CVD in patients with the metabolic syndrome. In this paper, we review the clinical utility of acarbose in various cardiometabolic disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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