Endocrinologists Discover Metformin can be used to Save Their Patients from COVID-19
Endocrinologists Discover Metformin can be used to Save Their Patients from COVID-19
January 28, 2021 by eMedEvents

Recent studies have reported that people who suffer from diabetes, had a significantly reduced risk of death from COVID-19 complications, when they took the medication metformin.

- This data was analyzed from a diverse patient population, where researchers compared two controlled groups of individuals, and found that those who had been taking metformin (a drug designed for type 2 diabetes), were less likely to die of COVID-19 than those who were not taking metformin.

- The Frontiers in Endocrinology journal, was the first to publish these findings.

Statistics concerning diabetes and metformin

After conducting nearly a year of research, scientists and Healthcare professionals have found numerous similarities between those infected with COVID-19, most of which are listed below:

- Most people who tested positive for COVID-19, 70% had hypertension, 61% had obesity, and 40% had diabetes.

- 11% of COVID-19 patients died, most of whom (93%) were over the age of 50.

- Being male and having hypertension were also contributing factors in having an increased risk of death from COVID-19.

- 67% of COVID-19 related deaths, came from people who were diagnosed with diabetes. Indicating that this condition had a particularly significant effect on the risk of death.

Researchers began to analyze different disparities and patterns within datasets, to figure out what were key independent risk factors for COVID-19 deaths. Age, sex, and diabetes were considered the most telling datasets between individuals.

Once it was discovered that people diagnosed with diabetes were among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, researchers focused into the science behind the matter. The results have so far proven to be groundbreaking, as they found “that those who tested positive who were taking metformin — had an 11% risk of dying, which was the same as that of the general population. In comparison, those with diabetes not taking metformin had a 24% risk of dying”.

Professor Anath Shalev, one of the researchers behind this study noted that the beneficial effect was not affected by factors, such as race, age, obesity, sex, heart failure, or kidney failure. She would also go on to say, “Since similar results have now been obtained in different populations from around the world — including China, France, and a [UnitedHealth] analysis — this suggests that the observed reduction in mortality risk associated with metformin use in subjects with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 might be generalizable.”

Why metformin has these effects on diabetes patients, has still not been answered, however, one theory is the drug could be improving glycemic control or obesity.

One interesting note that researchers highlighted, “was individuals with diabetes who took metformin, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose levels, and hemoglobin A1C levels were no higher in the people who died than in those who survived”. As a result of these findings, professor Shalev concluded that metformin’s antithrombotic, and anti-inflammatory effects were the mechanisms involved.

Future research has been suggested to continue and develop these findings and discover the protective effects and the possible risks and benefits of prescribing metformin to combat against COVID-19.

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