Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows type 2 diabetics can live longer than people without the disease

08.08.2014

A commonly prescribed diabetes drug could offer surprising health benefits to non-diabetics

Patients treated with a drug widely prescribed for type 2 diabetes can live longer than people without the condition, a large-scale study involving over 180,000 people has shown.

The findings indicate that a drug known as metformin, used to control glucose levels in the body and already known to exhibit anticancer properties, could offer prognostic and prophylactic benefits to people without diabetes.

Published in a leading diabetes journal, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism by scientists from Cardiff University, the study set out to compare the survival of diabetes patients prescribed with metformin with patients prescribed with another common diabetes drug called sulphonylurea.

Importantly, the life expectancy of these cohorts was also compared against non-diabetics who were matched based on criteria that included age, gender, same general practice, smoking status and clinical status.

"What we found was illuminating," said lead author Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University's School of Medicine.

"Patients treated with metformin had a small but statistically significant improvement in survival compared with the cohort of non-diabetics, whereas those treated with sulphonylureas had a consistently reduced survival compared with non-diabetic patients. This was true even without any clever statistical manipulation.

"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, and interestingly, people with type 1 diabetes. 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.

"This does not mean that people with type 2 diabetes get off Scott free. Their disease will progress and they will be typically switched to more aggressive treatments. 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."

In the next phase of the research, Professor Currie plans to investigate how patients prescribed with metformin as a first line therapy can best be treated thereafter to ensure that their life expectancy can be brought closer in line with the national average.

Type 2 diabetes affects 8% of the US population and 6% of the UK population.

Effective glucose control in diabetics is important in reducing the risk of microvascular complications such as stroke or coronary artery disease. The stymying of these conditions can initially be achieved through diet and exercise, but glucose lowering medication is required in most patients with progressing diabetes.

Metformin is recommended as first line therapy for type 2 diabetes in the current American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the study of diabetes guidelines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also recommend the drug.

Sulphonylureas are commonly prescribed if metformin is deemed by practitioners to be an unsuitable course for treatment. Unlike metformin, sulphonylureas can cause weight gain, hypoglycaemia and an impaired recovery after heart attacks. Conversely, metformin is associated with beneficial effects, including improved cardiac health and an ability to fight the onset of certain cancers.

Data used in study came from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, representing around 10% of the UK population, where researchers identified 78,241 patients who were 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 non-diabetic patient.

###

The study was funded by Bristol Myers-Squibb.

Professor Craig Currie | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk

Further reports about: Conversely Diabetes Health Metformin beneficial diabetics exercise non-diabetics

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

Towards the connected, automated and electrified automobiles: AMAA conference in Brussels

02.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>