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01.12.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Cardiovascular Diabetology 1/2017

Pioglitazone and the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials

Cardiovascular Diabetology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Marit de Jong, H. Bart van der Worp, Yolanda van der Graaf, Frank L. J. Visseren, Jan Westerink
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12933-017-0617-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Background and aims

Pioglitazone targets multiple pathogenic pathways involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to assess the effects of pioglitazone treatment on the secondary prevention of CVD.


Randomized-controlled trials of pioglitazone in patients with CVD were identified through PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and CINAHL, in a search up to May 2016. Studies were included if pioglitazone was compared with any control (usual care, placebo or active comparator) and if patients were previously diagnosed with CVD. The outcomes of interest included major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, all-cause mortality and heart failure (HF). All outcomes were compared by pooled risk ratios (RR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Pooled estimates were calculated using a random-effects model.


Ten studies reported the effects of pioglitazone on any of the outcomes of interest. Pioglitazone reduced recurrent MACE (RR 0.74, 95% 0.60–0.92; I2 = 35), MI (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.64–0.93; I2 = 0%), or stroke (RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.68–0.96; I2 = 0%). Pioglitazone did not reduce all-cause mortality (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.81–1.08; I2 = 0%), whereas pioglitazone treatment was associated with an increased risk of HF (RR 1.33, 95% CI 1.14–1.54).


Pioglitazone lowers the risk of recurrent MACE, stroke, or MI in patients with clinical manifest vascular disease. Pioglitazone does not lower the risk for all-cause mortality, and increases the risk for the development of HF.
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