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Metformin May Lower Mortality in Heart Failure Patients

Lower death rate seen in diabetes patients with chronic heart failure taking the drug

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Metformin, either alone or in combination with sulfonylurea, appears to increase one-year and long-term survival in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and chronic heart failure (CHF), according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Josie M.M. Evans, Ph.D., of the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used a prescription database and diabetes research data to identify 422 subjects with DM and incident CHF receiving oral hypoglycemic agents but not insulin to study the effect of metformin in this patient population.

The researchers noted fewer deaths in those using metformin alone or in combination with sulfonylureas, compared with those using sulfonylurea as a monotherapy; the metformin advantage was seen at one-year and at long-term follow-up.

"Our study is observational and in common with all studies of this nature it is impossible to account for all possible confounding influences that may have biased the observed differences between the groups considered. Clearly, further randomized placebo-controlled trials in this area would be required to provide definitive evidence of the benefit of metformin in this group of patients and further define the underlying mechanisms," the authors conclude.

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