Posted on 15 April 2021
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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.
Why is this research important: Metformin is a drug which commands an enormous amount of intrigue in the longevity community. This is due to previous studies showing that it has such a positive effect on lifespan that diabetic patients taking the drug have longer average life expectancy than their ‘healthy’, age-matched controls.
These findings have inspired the Targeting Ageing with Metformin trial (TAME), the first ever trial to specifically target age as an endpoint. If successful, the TAME trial could set a precedent for treating ageing as a disease in the future, heralding a new era of preventative medicine and ageing research.
However the cardiovascular safety of metformin has been debated for a long time.
What did the researchers do: A group of researchers from Italy recently conducted a meta-analysis, capturing the data from 13 different randomised-control trials, on the effect of the on all-cause mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs).
Key takeaway(s) from this research: The results showed that when compared to other anti-hyperglycaemic drugs patients administered metformin experience a significantly reduced risk MACEs. When compared to placebo, metformin demonstrated significant reduction in all-cause mortality. However, the quality of evidence was only graded ‘moderate’ on the GRADE scoring system, due to the low sample size of the trials included. Although further analysis is required for definite conclusions, metformin’s impact on cardiovascular health seems to be positive.