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Independents' Day

Metformin reduces BMI in obese adolescents

Metformin can reduce the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes when used as alongside lifestyle modification in obese children and adolescents, say UK researchers.

The largest randomised trial to date of metformin in obese young people without diabetes found those taking the drug had a significantly greater mean drop in body mass index score, when adjusted for age and sex.

The metformin group had a BMI standard deviation at three months of 0.09, compared with 0.04 in the placebo group. This remained significant between the groups at six months.

Metformin also significantly reduced fasting glucose by 0.03 mmol/litre compared with a 0.09 mmol/litre increase for those on placebo. The reduction for those on metformin was maintained at six months, though was not statistically significant.

The trial included 151 children aged 8 to 18 years who were all referred to one of six endocrine centres in the UK for obesity. Participants received either metformin twice a day  or a placebo lactose tablet, and were followed for six months.

The authors concluded: ‘Metformin may provide a stimulus for further lifestyle changes and is a useful adjunct to support lifestyle modification and potentially reduce long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.’

J Clin Endocrin Metab 2012, available online 21 November


Readers' comments (2)

  • Vinci Ho

    While orlistat only promises by average 5-10% loss in the weight of concern, we need alternative option in weight reduction in these young obese patients. Many of them at some stage will have impaired fasting glycaemia(IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) . It is logical to consider metformin as a choice of treatment.

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  • The findings of this study are not a real surprise, but, it was assumed that metformin might help. But have a good study like this will only help us in better understanding about this drug. Thank god metformin is off patent.

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