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Metformin Little Benefit for CHD Patients Without Diabetes
No effect on mean distal carotid intima-media thickness for coronary heart disease patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients without diabetes with high cardiovascular risk who are taking statins, metformin has no effect on mean distal carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), according to a study published online Nov. 7 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

David Preiss, Ph.D., from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a single-center, double-blind placebo-controlled trial involving 173 patients taking statins who did not have type 2 diabetes but did have coronary heart disease and large waist circumference. The participants were randomized to metformin (86 patients) or matching placebo (87 patients). Progression of mean distal cIMT over 18 months was the primary end point.

The researchers observed no significant difference between the groups in cIMT progression, or in change of carotid plaque score. Glycated hemoglobin, insulin, Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance, and tissue plasminogen activator were lower for patients taking metformin versus placebo. No significant differences were seen between the groups in total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, or fasting glucose.

"Further evidence is needed before metformin can be recommended for cardiovascular benefit in this population," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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