Study finds potential new use for metformin

Metformin may have potential for slowing the growth of abdominal aortic aneurysms, Australian research suggests.

Use of the drug was associated with 40-87% reductions in aneurysm growth in a Queensland observational study of 1700 patients undergoing yearly surveillance for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).

This included 173 patients receiving metformin for diabetes. This group showed signs of slower growth over 1-4 years compared with other patients in the study cohorts.

The findings suggested a potential new role for metformin as a medical therapy for limiting AAA growth, said lead author Professor Jonathan Golledge, a Queensland vascular surgeon from James Cook University.

Metformin could inhibit AAA growth by reducing aortic inflammation, oxidative stress and extracellular matrix remodelling, he said.

 “The current theory about how aneurysms expand is around inflammation in the