Gainesville, FL—An existing diabetes drug also shows promise in limiting progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a leading cause of liver transplants. Results of the 3-year clinical trial finding pioglitazone safe and effective in certain patients with the chronic disease were published recently in Annals of Internal Medicine. NASH affects 10% to 20% percent of the population and as many as one-third of all patients with adult-onset diabetes in the United States, but it has no dedicated treatment regime, according to background information in the study led by University of Florida researchers. The single-center clinical trial involved 101 NASH patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Results indicate that pioglitazone reduced fatty liver disease activity in 58% of participants. In just more than half the participants, 51%, the disease was reduced enough that it was no longer considered a threat to the liver, according to the researchers, who call for a larger, multicenter clinical trial to verify their results.

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