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Diabetes drug can prevent heart disease, new study suggests

Date:
March 25, 2012
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
The widely used diabetes medicine metformin can have protective effects on the heart, reveals a new study.

The widely used diabetes medicine metformin can have protective effects on the heart, reveals a new study conducted at the Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy have shown in a preliminary study in rats that one of the most common diabetes drugs, metformin, also has a protective effect on the heart.

The study, carried out in collaboration with a research group from Naples and published in the journal Diabetes, reveals that metformin helps increase pumping capacity, improve energy balance, reduce the accumulation of fat, and limit the loss of heart cells through programmed cell death.

Long term effect

The results were compared with animals treated with another diabetes drug, which proved to have no positive effects on the heart.

“The animals in our study were treated with metformin for a whole year, so the effect seems to persist,” says Jφrgen Isgaard, the researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy who led the Swedish research group involved in the study.

New study on patients

Diabetes drugs have proved to have a number of serious side-effects for people with heart disease. Rosiglitazone, for example, was recently withdrawn due to its cardiac side-effects. Metformin too can occasionally have side-effects, primarily in patients with kidney failure.

“Our results nevertheless strengthen the indication for metformin as a diabetes medicine, and we hope that they are now followed up with studies on actual patients,” says Isgaard.

The article Metformin Prevents the Development of Chronic Heart Failure in the SHHF Rat Model was published in Diabetes on 22 February.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Cittadini, R. Napoli, M. G. Monti, D. Rea, S. Longobardi, P. A. Netti, M. Walser, M. Sama, G. Aimaretti, J. Isgaard, L. Sacca. Metformin Prevents the Development of Chronic Heart Failure in the SHHF Rat Model. Diabetes, 2012; 61 (4): 944 DOI: 10.2337/db11-1132

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Diabetes drug can prevent heart disease, new study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120325102605.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2012, March 25). Diabetes drug can prevent heart disease, new study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120325102605.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Diabetes drug can prevent heart disease, new study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120325102605.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

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