Metformin lowers dementia risk in type 2 diabetes, finds study
Metformin lowers dementia risk in addition to controlling blood sugar, finds a study conducted in African Americans with type 2 diabetes.
Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent complications like kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems.It is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medication to treat diabetes. This medication is used to decrease hepatic (liver) glucose production, to decrease Gastro Intestinal glucose absorption and to increase target cell insulin sensitivity.
Metformin, a first line antihyperglycemic medication, is an AMPK activator and has been hypothesized to act as a geroprotective agent. Studies on its association with various classifications of age-related cognitive decline have shown mixed results with positive and negative findings.
A large observational cohort study examining male veterans aged over 50 years with type 2 diabetes found that metformin use was associated with a significantly lower risk of dementia in African American patients. The study included data from 73,500 patients who received care through the Veteran's Health Administration from 2000-2015 and were diabetes- and dementia-free at baseline and who subsequently developed type 2 diabetes and began treatment with either metformin or sulfonylurea. Cox proportional hazards models, using propensity scores and inverse probability treatment to balance confounding factors, were computed to measure the association of both drugs and incident dementia across race and age groups.
For African American patients aged 50-64 years, the hazard ratio for developing dementia was 0.60 (CI, 0.45-0.81), and for African American patients aged 65-74 years, the hazard ratio was 0.71 (CI, 0.53-0.94). The study showed modest to no association between metformin and lower risk for dementia in white patients 65-74 and no association in other age groups. The present results may point to a novel approach for reducing dementia risk in African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The researchers concluded that Metformin vs sulfonylurea initiation was associated with a substantially lower risk of dementia among younger African American patients. These results may point to a novel approach for reducing the risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus.