University of Utah Seeks Participants in National Study of Drug to Prevent Recurrent Strokes, Heart Attacks

University of Utah Seeks Participants in National Study of Drug to Prevent Recurrent Strokes, Heart Attacks

May 30, 2006 6:00 PM

Utah is one of 60 locations participating in $33 million study led by Yale University.

Salt Lake City - The University of Utah is among 60 collaborating sites in a $33 million trial of a novel approach for treating patients who suffer recurrent strokes and heart attacks. Funded by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the study is coordinated by Yale University.

The Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke (IRIS) trial will study the effectiveness of a commonly prescribed medication, pioglitazone, for preventing recurrent stroke and myocardial infarction (heart attack) among non-diabetic patients with a recent ischemic stroke and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a common medical condition that may lead to diabetes, stroke and heart attack. By some estimates, insulin resistance affects up to 50 percent of stroke patients. Pioglitazone, reduces insulin resistance and is currently approved for diabetes treatment, but has not been tested for prevention of vascular disease in non-?diabetic patients.

More than 400,000 Americans survive an ischemic stroke each year. Despite current treatment, within four years of the initial event, 16 percent of stroke patients have a recurrent stroke and 9 percent have a heart attack. Researchers hypothesize pioglitazone could reduce the risk of recurrent stroke or heart attack by 20 percent during four years of therapy, according to Elaine J. Skalabrin, M.D., principal investigator for the Utah study and director of the University Health Care Stroke Center.

The IRIS trial includes more than 60 research centers in the United States and Canada that will recruit 3,136 participants in the next three years. Eligible participants are men and women age 45 or older without diabetes who have insulin resistance and a recent ischemic stroke. In addition to their usual therapy, participants will randomly be assigned to pioglitazone or placebo.

For more information about enrolling in the study, call 801-581-2631.

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