Metformin in Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Chamukuttan Snehalatha, Susairaj Priscilla, Arun Nanditha, Raghavan Arun, Krishnamoorthy Satheesh, Ambady Ramachandran
Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2018, 66 (3): 55-58
Identification and treatment of individuals with prediabetes is crucial. Effective interventional strategies are key to reducing the diabetes risk at the population level. Lifestyle intervention is found to be more effective but more expensive. Evidence of potential benefits from pharmacotherapy is accumulating. The choice of a pharmacologic intervention to reduce the progression of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in high risk individuals must consider the balance between the benefit to risk ratio. A meta-analysis of the results of the three important studies has shown that metformin used for up to three years decrease the likelihood of progression to diabetes. Metformin showed greater beneficial effect in people with higher baseline Body Mass Index (BMI) and higher Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) than in leaner prediabetic counterparts with low FPG concentrations. Besides diabetes risk reduction, the drug has also proved to be cancer and cardio-protective. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, UK has recommended the use of metformin in prevention of T2DM in adults at high risk on failure to adhere to lifestyle changes. In view of the long standing safety and tolerability, metformin could be prescribed to people who are unable to comply with lifestyle advice.

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