Diabetes drug could help reduce cardiovascular disease

19 August 2016        

Category: BHF Comment

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The world’s most commonly used Type 2 diabetes drug, Metformin, may be ‘repurposed’ for non-diabetic conditions, suggest research that we've part-funded.

The international study led by the University of Dundee showed that there was evidence of Metformin's anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is understood to contribute to cardiovascular disease.

What is Metformin?

Metformin has been in use for more than 50 years and is the drug of choice to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug works by making your body more sensitive to its own insulin.

What does the research mean?

Professor Jeremy Pearson, our Associate Medical Director, said:

“These findings offer further evidence that old drugs can perform new tricks. Repurposed medicines can much more quickly benefit patients. If this existing and affordable drug can be repurposed as a heart disease treatment, then this is excellent news for the 2.3 million people in the UK living with the condition.  

“Research like this is essential to improving how we treat heart disease and preventing the sudden tragedies caused by heart attacks. We look forward to seeing how the research progresses in patient studies.”

Next steps

The researchers say their next steps will be to establish exactly how metformin exhibits its anti-inflammatory properties and to identify specific nondiabetic patient groups that benefit from this anti-inflammatory action.


Help us fund continue the fight against heart disease.