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Thinner artery walls are a good thing, because thicker ones indicate atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart attack. In a study published in the December 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association, pioglitazone (Actos, a thiazolidinedione) was compared to glimepiride (a sulfonylurea) with regard to carotid artery thickness.
For a period of 18 months, 462 patients with type 2 diabetes were given one or the other. In the end, the thickness of the artery in the glimepiride group increased by a tiny amount, 0.012 millimeters. In the pioglitazone group, average thickness fell by an even tinier amount, 0.001 millimeters.