Metformin May Be Cardioprotective in Type 1 Diabetes

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Type 1 diabetes patients taking metformin may experience improved cardiovascular health.
Type 1 diabetes patients taking metformin may experience improved cardiovascular health.

HealthDay News -- Metformin may help preserve cardiovascular health in patients with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in Cardiovascular Diabetology.

The new study included 23 adults with type 1 diabetes who were treated with metformin for 8 weeks, 23 healthy age- and sex-matched volunteers without type 1 diabetes, and 9 patients with type 1 diabetes who were not given metformin.

The researchers saw a number of markers indicating blood vessel repair improve in patients taking metformin. The team noted improvements in circulating endothelial progenitor cells, colony forming units-Hill's colonies, circulating endothelial cells, and pro-angiogenic cell count and function, and deemed the effects independent of hypoglycemic effect.

"We have shown — both in test tube and in patients — the mechanism behind the cardioprotective effects of metformin," senior author Jolanta Weaver, PhD, of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, told HealthDay. "This is likely to lead to the development of new drugs for heart disease in diabetes."

  1. Ahmed FW, Rider R, Glanville M, Narayan K, Razvi S, Weaver JU. Metformin improves circulating endothelial cells and endothelial progenitor cells in type 1 diabetes: MERIT study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2016. doi:10.1186/s12933-016-0413-6.
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