Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Starting treatment early doubles chance of success for people with diabetes

Date:
March 9, 2010
Source:
GolinHarris International
Summary:
The sooner people with diabetes start taking metformin, the longer the drug remains effective, according to a new study.

The sooner people with diabetes start taking metformin, the longer the drug remains effective, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.

Related Articles


The study found that metformin, an inexpensive, generic drug that helps patients prevent dangerously high blood sugar levels, worked nearly twice as long for people who began taking it within three months of their diabetes diagnosis. This is the first study to compare metformin failure rates in a real-world, clinical practice setting. Other studies compared failure rates of metformin only in clinical trials.

Metformin is recommended as a first-line agent in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but in most patients it eventually stops working, forcing them to take additional medications to control their blood sugar. Each additional drug adds extra costs and the possibility of more side effects including weight gain, so this study is welcome news for newly diagnosed patients, researchers said.

"This is an important finding for the 30 million people world-wide who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year. The sooner they start taking metformin, the better and longer it seems to work," said the study's lead author Jonathan B. Brown, PhD, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. "This study suggests that to gain full benefit from metformin, patients should start taking it as soon as they find out they have diabetes."

Researchers used electronic health records to follow nearly 1,800 people with diabetes in Kaiser Permanente's health plan in Washington and Oregon for up to five years. Metformin failed at a rate of only 12 percent a year for the patients who began taking it within three months of diagnosis. That compares to a failure rate of 21.4 percent per year for patients who started taking metformin one to two years after diagnosis, and 21.9 percent per year for those who didn't start taking the drug until three years after they were diagnosed.

"We believe that starting the drug early preserves the body's own ability to control blood sugar, which in turn prevents the long-term complications of diabetes like heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness," said study co-author Gregory A. Nichols, PhD, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "The American Diabetes Association recommends that patients start taking metformin and make lifestyle changes as soon as they are diagnosed. This study provides more evidence to back up that recommendation."

In the study, patients were considered to have failed metformin when their hemoglobin A1C -- a test that monitors glucose control -- went above 7.5 percent or when they started taking a second anti-hyperglycemic agent. Only patients who initially controlled blood sugar (to less than 7 percent on the A1C test) with metformin were included in the study.

To reduce the possibility that factors other than delay in starting metformin influenced the results of the study, researchers controlled for age, gender, and how well blood sugar was controlled prior to treatment. After controlling for these factors, an even stronger relationship emerged between the time a patient started on the drug, and the amount of time it remained effective. Still, the authors caution that other unmeasured factors could have influenced the results.

The study was funded by Novo Nordisk, Inc., a company that does not make or sell metformin and has no financial interest in, or connection to, Kaiser Permanente.

Study authors include: Jonathan B. Brown, PhD, MPP, and Gregory A. Nichols, PhD, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and Christopher Conner, PharmD, PhD, from Novo Nordisk, Inc., Seattle.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by GolinHarris International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brown et al. Secondary Failure of Metformin Monotherapy in Clinical Practice. Diabetes Care, 2010; 33 (3): 501 DOI: 10.2337/dc09-1749

Cite This Page:

GolinHarris International. "Starting treatment early doubles chance of success for people with diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309102517.htm>.
GolinHarris International. (2010, March 9). Starting treatment early doubles chance of success for people with diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309102517.htm
GolinHarris International. "Starting treatment early doubles chance of success for people with diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309102517.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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