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Metformin for CVD fails to live up to earlier promise

A UK trial testing a combination of metformin plus a statin in patients with cardiovascular disease but without diabetes has come up empty-handed.

But the researchers say the weight loss seen in patients taking the combination warrants further study.

The Carotid Atherosclerosis: Metformin For Insulin Resistance (CAMERA) randomised 173 patients with established coronary disease and a large waist circumference, but no diabetes, to either metformin 850 mg twice daily or placebo.

The rationale for the study came from observations from earlier trials - including the UKPDS - that metformin reduced not only diabetes endpoints, but also MI.

The researchers saw glycaemia levels drop over the 18-month follow-up in the metformin-treated group, as expected. But no differences were seen in the primary endpoint - carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) – or coronary plaque score.

However, there was a difference of 3.2 kg weight loss between groups and significantly greater declines in BMI in the metformin group.

The data was presented at this week’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona.


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