Diabetes Drug Can Help Heart Attack Recovery

A common diabetes drug, metformin, could be key in helping patients recover from heart attacks, according to a new study.

Using stem cells to construct a model that simulated a heart attack, researchers from Newcastle University found that a mechanism caused by metformin enhances the process of new blood vessel formation - a critical component of heart attack recovery.

The researchers also found that metformin affects the genes associated with blood vessel health.

"Our research is exciting as it can instantly make a difference to the treatments we are exploring, offering a new approach to heart disease in diabetes and new therapies may now be developed," said Dr. Jolanta Weaver, study author and Senior Lecturer in Diabetes Medicine at Newcastle University.

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Diabetes and cardiovascular health

According to the International Diabetes Federation, 8.3 percent of adults have diabetes, and metformin is usually the first line of treatment. Not all patients can take metformin, but the new study suggests that diabetes patients at risk for heart attack may benefit from the drug.

"The outcome of heart disease interventions in patients with diabetes is much worse in comparison with non-diabetic individuals," Weaver said.

The researchers hope to conduct clinical trials to understand better how metformin can aid patients' cardiovascular health.

Source: Newcastle University

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