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    Is metformin a life-extending drug? Metformin LOWERS risk of death in Type 2 diabetics vs controls


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Sunday, December 14, 2014 12:35 pm Email this article

    Type 2 diabetics taking metformin were LESS likely to die during a 2.8-year follow-up than non-diabetic controls leading the authors of the study to suggest that metformin might have a life-extending effect even in non-diabetics.

    “Patients with type 2 diabetes initiated with metformin monotherapy had longer survival than did matched, non-diabetic controls,” the authors of the paper noted.

    “This supports the position of metformin as first-line therapy and implies that metformin may confer benefit in non-diabetes.”

    To say this another way, the authors of the study are suggesting that metformin might be life-extending drug in people WITHOUT diabetes.

    Subjects

    Subjects: 78,241 Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin monotherapy

    The study identified 78,241 Type 2 diabetics treated with metformin monotherapy plus the same number of matched-controls without diabetes.

    Length of Study

    Length of Study: average of 2.8 years

    They were followed for an average of 2.8 years.

    Deaths

    Deaths: 14.4 vs 15.2 per 1,000 person-years, metformin monotherapy vs controls

    The unadjusted death rates were
    14.4 deaths per 1,000 person-years for Type 2 diabetics given metformin monotherapy versus
    15.2 deaths per 1,000 person-years for NON-diabetics who were matched controls for the metformin group.

    In other words, Type 2 diabetics taking metformin ONLY were LESS likely to die during the 2.8 year follow-up than NON-diabetics taking NO diabetes drugs.

    Here is more data to support this idea.

    Deaths in Those <60-years-old

    Deaths, <60-years-old: 3.3 vs 3.1 per 1,000 person-years, metformin monotherapy vs controls

    Among people who were less than 60 years old, there were
    3.3 deaths per 1,000 person-years among Type 2 diabetics given metformin monotherapy versus
    3.1 deaths per 1,000 person-years among NON-diabetic matched-controls.

    Deaths in Those 60-70-years-old

    Deaths, 60-70-years-old: 10.5 vs 12 per 1,000 person-years, metformin monotherapy vs controls

    Among people who were 60-70 years old, there were
    10.5 deaths per 1,000 person-years among Type 2 diabetics given metformin monotherapy versus
    12.0 deaths per 1,000 person-years among NON-diabetic matched-controls.

    In other words, there were FEWER deaths in Type 2 diabetics 60-70 years-old taking metformin monotherapy than in NON-diabetics taking no diabetes drugs.

    Deaths in Those >70-years-old

    Deaths, <70-years-old: 36.9 vs 39.7 per 1,000 person-years, metformin monotherapy vs controls

    Among people who were older than 70 years old, there were
    36.9 deaths per 1,000 person-years among Type 2 diabetics given metformin monotherapy versus
    39.7 deaths per 1,000 person-years among NON-diabetic matched-controls.

    In other words, there were FEWER deaths in Type 2 diabetics older than 70-years-old taking metformin monotherapy than in NON-diabetics taking no diabetes drugs.

    Reference

    Bannister CA, Holden SE, Jenkins-Jones S, Morgan CL, Halcox JP, Schernthaner G, Mukherjee J, and Currie CJ. Can people with type 2 diabetes live longer than those without? A comparison of mortality in people initiated with metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapy and matched, non-diabetic controls. Diabetes Obes Metab, 2014 Nov; 16(11): 1165-1173.

    Author’s Contact Info

    Craig J. Currie
    Professor of Applied Pharmacoepidemiology
    The Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health
    Cardiff University
    The Pharma Research Centre
    Cardiff Medicentre
    Cardiff CF14 4UJ, UK
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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