Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metformin is safe for patients with advanced heart failure and diabetes mellitus, study shows

Date:
January 9, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
A new study has shown that metformin, a drug often used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, is safe for use in treating patients who have both diabetes and advanced heart failure.

A new study has shown that metformin, a drug often used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, is safe for use in treating patients who have both diabetes and advanced heart failure. The study was published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure by researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA .

"There may be over two million individuals with heart failure and type II diabetes mellitus in the U. S. alone, so this important finding will have fairly broad impact," said Dr. Tamara Horwich, senior author of the study and an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Previous studies have shown that diabetes increases not only the risk of developing heart failure, but also the risk of death among heart failure patients. This is due in large part to the fact that diabetes, because it increases the amounts of sugar and fat circulating in the bloodstream, accelerates the onset of coronary atherosclerosis. This hardening and thickening of blood vessels is the hallmark of atherosclerotic heart disease, the most common cause of death in the country. The optimal treatment for high glucose and fat blood levels among heart failure patients has not been demonstrated.

The new study involved 401 patients of an average age of 56, with type II diabetes and advanced systolic heart failure. This patient cohort was followed for 14 years in a comprehensive heart failure management program.

The study results suggest that, in patients with both advanced heart failure and diabetes, use of metformin is safe, and may be associated with better heart failure survival.

"The diabetes drug metformin previously carried a "black box warning" from the FDA against its use in treating diabetes in heart failure patients," said Horwich. "In fact, many medications commonly used to lower serum glucose levels have theoretic or demonstrated adverse effects on heart failure.

"As a result," she continued, "many physicians have been reluctant to use metformin and other similar medications to treat this patient group. However, our analysis shows that using metformin to treat diabetes in patients with advanced, systolic heart failure is not only safe, but may also play a role in improving outcomes compared to conventional diabetes care."

Dr Gregg Fonarow, Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UCLA and coauthor of this study, noted, "Experimental studies suggest that metformin improves myocardial function via activation of a signaling mechanism (AMP-activated protein kinase) independent of antihyperglycemic effects. Together, these studies suggest that metformin may be cardioprotective by augmenting heart function at the molecular level, and should be further investigated as a treatment for heart failure, irrespective of diabetes."

In a previous study, diabetes with heart failure was shown to be an independent risk factor for progression from asymptomatic ventricular disease to symptomatic heart failure, and a risk factor for death from multiple causes. In the current study, metformin was shown to be safe, and may be associated with favorable clinical outcomes. Patients taking metformin had a significantly lower risk of dying after one year than those not taking the medication. In addition, the study showed that there are potential mechanisms by which metformin may improve cardiac function.

Horwich's research group at the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center is now conducting a prospective study to investigate metformin's potential benefits in diabetic heart failure patients.

For this research, Horwich was supported by NIH/NHLB. Fonarow was supported by the Ahmanson Foundation of Los Angeles; he holds the Eliot Corday Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and Science. Dr. Digish D. Shah, a fellow at UCLA, also participated in the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Digish D. Shah, Gregg C. Fonarow, Tamara B. Horwich. Metformin Therapy and Outcomes in Patients With Advanced Systolic Heart Failure and Diabetes. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2009.10.022

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Metformin is safe for patients with advanced heart failure and diabetes mellitus, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107132558.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, January 9). Metformin is safe for patients with advanced heart failure and diabetes mellitus, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107132558.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Metformin is safe for patients with advanced heart failure and diabetes mellitus, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107132558.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins