Does Metformin Lower Mortality in Patients with Diabetes Hospitalised with Pneumonia? - European Medical Journal

Does Metformin Lower Mortality in Patients with Diabetes Hospitalised with Pneumonia?

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PRIOR use of metformin has been associated with higher survival rates in patients with diabetes in the 3 months following hospitalisation with pneumonia, according to a new study. The researchers wanted to examine whether there was a clinically significant impact on survival in patients hospitalised with pneumonia, as several medications taken by patients with diabetes such as metformin could have beneficial properties for infections.

A retrospective cohort study including data from the Department of Veteran Affairs analysed data from patients of 65 years and older with a history of diabetes and hospitalisation with pneumonia between 2012–2022. Patients using metformin were matched 1:1 with patients who did not use metformin for a comparative analysis. In total, 34,759 patients met the inclusion criteria, of whom 20.3% were prescribed metformin.

For patients using metformin, the team noted that the unadjusted 30-day mortality was 9.6%, compared to 13.9% in patients who did not (p<0.003). Furthermore, 90-day mortality for patients using metformin was 15.8%, compared to 23.0% in those who did not (p<0.0001). The team then matched 6,899 patients taking metformin with 6,899 non-users in a propensity score model, which demonstrated that 30-day (risk ratio: 0.86; 95% confidence interval: 0.78–0.95) and 90-day (risk ratio: 0.85; 95% confidence interval: 0.79–0.92) mortality were significantly lower for patients taking metformin.

Author Eric Mortensen, UConn Health, University of Connecticut, Farmington, USA, concluded that, “for diabetics, metformin not only lowers your blood sugar, it has many other potential impacts, including improving survival for those who develop severe infections. Take your metformin!”

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