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Commonly used diabetic drug - Metformin, beneficial for non-diabetic patients


A new study claims that 'metformin', a commonly used drug, has the potential to reduce the risk of in non-diabetic patients. Researchers also claim that could reverse the harmful thickening of the heart muscle that leads to The study was published in the medical journal European Heart.

The study showed that metformin, used to treat type 2 safely for the last six decades, reduced (LVH) in patients with and

is the thickening of the muscle wall in the heart's left pumping chamber and is a serious risk factor for future heart attack, and

is often a silent symptom and most people do not know they have it prior to experiencing a or Large studies have previously shown that patients with are at higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events and reducing LVH can substantially reduce mortality rates.

"are the leading cause of global mortality. We have previously shown that can have beneficial effects in patients with But this is the first time anyone has looked specifically at the effects of on LVH in nondiabetic patients with in a clinical trial." said, Lang, head of the study.

"The study involved treating prediabetic people with with metformin or a placebo over a period of 12 months to see how the drug affected the heart muscle wall, using state-of-the-art The major causes of LVH are high blood pressure, and insulin resistance, which are also thought to be key contributors of The dangerous thickening of the left ventricle was reduced by twice as much in those taking metformin compared to the placebo," he added.

"We also found that metformin reduced blood pressure, oxidative stress and lost body weight - an average of 3.6 kg, compared to no changes in the placebo group. If the findings from this study are substantiated in a larger-scale study, metformin could offer hope for millions of patients across the globe," the said.

The MET-REMODEL trial is the first clinical trial in the world to show that metformin could reverse harmful thickening heart muscle wall in a clinical trial. Repurposing cheap and readily available drugs, such as metformin, to treat other conditions could potentially save the billions of pounds every year.

Mohapradeep Mohan, the lead author, said blood pressure medications were the standard treatment modalities for LVH but that this approach was not particularly effective as LVH can also be present in patients who have well-controlled blood pressure. This highlighted the need for new treatment strategies in these patients.

"In this context, we need non-blood pressure medication and we had good reason to suppose that metformin should help to reduce thickening of the heart muscle wall," he said.

"The findings from our study reinforce the notion that metformin has the potential to improve cardiovascular health, offering the possibility of improving the life expectancy of patients. From the standpoint of clinical practice, this drug is already approved and well tolerated with minimal side effects.

"If our findings are backed up by bigger studies, using metformin to target LVH presents a novel treatment option and unique opportunity for a quick translation to the clinic. We are thankful to BHF for funding this study and extremely grateful to all the participants of this study.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 15:19 IST