Pioglitazone slows progression of atherosclerosis in prediabetes independent of changes in cardiovascular risk factors

Aramesh Saremi, Dawn C. Schwenke, Thomas A. Buchanan, Howard N. Hodis, Wendy J. MacK, Maryann Banerji, George A. Bray, Stephen C. Clement, Robert R. Henry, Abbas E. Kitabchi, Sunder Mudaliar, Robert E. Ratner, Frankie B. Stentz, Nicolas Musi, Devjit Tripathy, Ralph A. Defronzo, Peter D. Reaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Objective-: To determine whether changes in standard and novel risk factors during the Actos Now for Prevention of Diabetes trial explained the slower rate of carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) progression with pioglitazone treatment in persons with prediabetes. METHODS AND RESULTS-: CIMT was measured in 382 participants at the beginning and up to 3 additional times during follow-up of the Actos Now for Prevention of Diabetes trial. During an average follow-up of 2.3 years, the mean unadjusted annual rate of CIMT progression was significantly (P=0.01) lower with pioglitazone treatment (4.76×10 mm/year; 95% CI: 2.39×10-7.14×10 mm/year) compared with placebo (9.69×10 mm/year; 95% CI: 7.24×10-12.15×10 mm/year). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting and 2-hour glucose, HbA1c, fasting insulin, Matsuda insulin sensitivity index, adiponectin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels improved significantly with pioglitazone treatment compared with placebo (P<0.001). However, the effect of pioglitazone on CIMT progression was not attenuated by multiple methods of adjustment for traditional, metabolic, and inflammatory risk factors and concomitant medications, and was independent of changes in risk factors during pioglitazone treatment. CONCLUSION-: Pioglitazone slowed progression of CIMT, independent of improvement in hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and systemic inflammation in prediabetes. These results suggest a possible direct vascular benefit of pioglitazone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-399
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • carotid atherosclerosis progression
  • impaired glucose tolerance
  • inflammation
  • insulin resistance
  • pioglitazone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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