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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/8/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Effects of metformin on healthy people found merited

According to a new study, a drug widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes could help us all live longer. Said drug, metformin, which controls glucose levels, may also stave off cardiovascular disease and cancer, regardless if the person is diabetic.

Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a 'small but statistically significant improvement in survival' in those taking metformin.

Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a "small but statistically significant improvement in survival" in those taking metformin.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/8/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Diabetes, drug, metformin, cancer


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a "small but statistically significant improvement in survival" in those taking metformin. The study contrasted this group from those given older anti-diabetic drugs and a group without diabetes.

Experts wish to remind others that the five-and-a-half year follow-up period was relatively short, considering the complications of diabetes get worse over time and are linked with a shorter lifespan.

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Research proved that average survival time was 15 per cent lower in healthy people compared with dia

Research proved that average survival time was 15 per cent lower in healthy people compared with diabetics on metformin, and 38 percent lower in diabetic patients on older drugs.


Lead author Professor Craig Currie, from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, said further research into the effects of metformin on healthy people was merited. The drug has negligible side effects.

"Patients treated with metformin had a small but statistically significant improvement in survival compared with non-diabetics, whereas those treated with sulphonylureas had a consistently reduced survival compared with non-diabetic patients," Currie says.

"Surprisingly, the findings indicate that this cheap and widely prescribed diabetic drug may have beneficial effects not only on patients with diabetes but also for people without.
 
Experts wish to remind others that the five-and-a-half year follow-up period was relatively short, c

Experts wish to remind others that the five-and-a-half year follow-up period was relatively short, considering the complications of diabetes get worse over time and are linked with a shorter lifespan.


"Metformin has been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-cardiovascular disease benefits. It can also reduce pre-diabetics' chances of developing the disease by a third."

Currie said patients with type 2 diabetes would eventually see their health deteriorate, regardless of what drug they took.

"People lose on average around eight years from their life expectancy after developing diabetes. The best way to avoid the condition altogether is by keeping moderately lean and taking some regular light exercise," he added.

Researchers in the United Kingdom identified 78,241 patients prescribed metformin as a first-line therapy and 12,222 patients prescribed a sulphonylurea as a first-line therapy.

These were then each matched against a non-diabetic patient using criteria that included age, gender, smoking status and clinical status, and their life expectancy compared.

Research proved that average survival time was 15 per cent lower in healthy people compared with diabetics on metformin, and 38 percent lower in diabetic patients on older drugs.

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