Drug Duo Might Reduce Risk Of Death In Type 2 Diabetics

Type 2 diabetic patients who took both insulin and metformin showed a reduced risk of death and cardiac events compared with people treated with insulin alone, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Cardiff University.

Researchers recently examined over 12,000 people with type 2 diabetes who had been treated with just insulin or a combination of insulin and metformin. The patients were tracked for nearly four years from the time they first were prescribed insulin.

The results showed that when used at the same time as insulin, metformin worked to reduce rates of mortality and heart attacks. Additionally, no difference was discovered in the risk of cancer between people treated with only insulin and the group treated with both drugs.

Metformin

According to the American Diabetes Association, Metformin reduces the amount of sugar produced in the liver and makes the body’s cells more receptive to insulin. Researchers claim that combining metformin with insulin is a healthier solution for patients than simply increasing insulin dosage alone.

"Previously, our work showed that increased insulin dose is linked with mortality, cancer and heart attacks,” said Professor Craig Currie, lead author of the study. “Existing studies have also shown that metformin can attenuate the risks associated with insulin.”

Researchers hope the drug duo of insulin and metformin can provide a positive treatment option for people in the UK, where insulin usage has increased six-fold since 1991.

"While this research indicates the potential of using these treatments together, further studies are needed to determine the risks and benefits of insulin in type 2 diabetes and the possible benefits associated with the administration of metformin alongside insulin," said Currie.

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