Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 03 Jan 2020
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Metformin does not prevent cancer in diabetic patients

10 Aug 2019

Treatment with metformin does not appear to provide an additional benefit of reducing the incidence of cancers, excluding those of the prostate and pancreas, in patients with diabetes, as reported in a study.

Researchers looked at a cohort of 315,890 incident diabetic individuals aged 21–87 years, among whom 304,582 had no previous diagnosis of cancer. More than half of the population (n=172,948; 54.7 percent) took metformin at some time during their follow-up.

Weighted cumulative metformin exposure was evaluated in relation to cancer incidence using a time-dependent covariate Cox model, which was controlled for treatments with other glucose lowering medications, as well as age, sex, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, smoking (for bladder and lung cancer) and parity (for breast cancer). Metformin exposure in the year before cancer diagnosis was excluded in the analysis to minimize reverse causation of cancer on changes in medication.

Results showed no clear association between the use of metformin and all-sites cancer (excluding prostate and pancreas), and cancers of the colon, breast, lung and bladder. The hazard ratios with exposure to one defined daily dose of metformin over the previous 2–7 years were 0.98 (95 percent CI, 0.82–1.18) for all-sites cancer (excluding prostate and pancreas), 1.05 (0.67–1.63) for colon cancer, 0.98 (0.49–1.97) for bladder cancer, 1.02 (0.59–1.78) for lung cancer and 0.88 (0.56–1.39) for female breast cancer.

The study was limited by reliance on medication purchase data to identify medication use, relatively short study duration, and lack of data on confounding risk factors for cancer.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 03 Jan 2020
Antibiotic resistance of Helicobacter (H.) pylori has more than doubled in Europe in the past two decades, raising alarm on the gravity of the issue of growing bacterial resistance to commonly-used antibiotics, a study presented at UEG Week 2019 has shown.
02 Dec 2019
Utilizing a clinical pharmacist specialist in a hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment clinic may help improve drug therapy management of HCV-infected patients treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), suggests a recent study.
Pearl Toh, 26 Sep 2019
The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has recalled eight brands of ranitidine products containing trace amounts of the nitrosamine impurity NDMA*, which is a potential human carcinogen.
2 days ago
The use of folic acid in addition to enalapril in the treatment of patients with hypertension yields a modest increase in lifetime stroke-free survival, a study has found.