Diabetes drug could help millions with heart and circulatory disease

New research has found that metformin – a cheap drug routinely used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes – could help millions of people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.

metformin
metformin Image: Shutterstock

A new study by the University of Dundee, scientists have discovered a drug metformin could reverse harmful thickening of the left ventricle – the heart’s main pumping chamber. The drug also hold the potential of diagnosing patients with high blood pressure-induced heart damage and a condition called aortic stenosis, which causes heart failure.

During the experiment, the drug was found to reduce the dangerous thickening of the left ventricle.

The investigation included treating individuals with coronary heart disease with metformin or placebo over a time of a year to perceive how the medication influenced the heart and circulatory system. Patients who took metformin also had reduced blood pressure and lost an average of 3kg, compared to no weight loss in the placebo group.

In another examination, subsidized by Scotland’s Chief Scientist Office (CSO), the specialists took a gander at the records of diabetic patients with a condition called aortic stenosis (AS). In individuals with AS, the fundamental corridor which supplies blood to the body is limited. It influences around 40% individuals beyond 60 years old in the UK and can prompt LVH and in this way heart failure.

The group found that diabetic patients with AS who were treated with metformin were more averse to kick the bucket from heart assault, stroke or heart failure than those on different diabetes treatment.

Using a variety of research approaches, including big data and genomics, the researchers have identified some of the mechanisms through which metformin might be exerting its beneficial effects.

Speaking about the potential of repurposing Metformin for heart disease, our Associate Medical Director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said: “These studies provide real hope that metformin might help to reduce deaths from heart and circulatory diseases, which currently claim thousands of lives every year. Repurposing of drugs like metformin is a great example of how scientists can harness the power of medications which have more than one target in the body.”

The study was led by Dr Ify Mordi and colleagues at the University of Dundee, at the University of Dundee and presented today at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Conference in Manchester.

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