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Understanding Metformin and Male Type 2 Diabetes Patients | Diabetes Daily Post
Understanding Metformin and Male Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Understanding Metformin and Male Type 2 Diabetes Patients

pill-384682According to a recent study by researchers at University of Washington at St. Louis suggests “Gender has major effects on myocardial metabolic response to lipid lowering in type 2 diabetes patients”. Seventy eight type 2 diabetes patients were subject to the study with a diagnostic instrument called PET (positrin emission tomography) scan to measure the changes in blood flow, oxygen consumption, and fatty acid and glucose uptake over 3 months. What they have discovered is reported on American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, December, 2013.

Briefly, the researchers have found diabetes medications for type 2 diabetes patients react differently in men and women. The evidence is strong in patients who are on metformin alone. The report found while metformin has positive influence on heart function in women but a negative influence in men: metformin causes body to burn more glucose than fat in women and conversely more fat than glucose in men and a chronic burning of fat by heart can lead to heart muscle changes seen in heart failure patients. They were able to reveal this phenomenon with PET scan. PET scan uses radiation imaging (also called nuclear medicine imaging) to create a 3dimensional, color images of the functional processes in the body. The beauty of this equipment is, it can be used to diagnose and detect how an existing condition is developing with a visual display. It is often used to evaluate how effective is an ongoing treatment. The equipment is not used regularly for research because it costs $5,000 on an average per body PET scan. In this study, the PET scan cost alone would be about $780,000. A key finding according to Dr Gropier is “Instead of making heart metabolism more normal in men, metformin alone made it worse, looking even more like a diabetic heart. But in women, metformin had the desired effect lowering fat metabolism and increasing glucose uptake by the heart”.

Diabetes treatment on type 2 diabetes male patients will be more complicated especially when it comes to metformin for use in high heart risk elderly patients. Metformin has been a front-line medication for type 2 diabetes and has been one of the most affordable oral diabetes medications in use for over 50 years. French physician Jean Sterne published his study result on use of metformin to treat diabetes. It was sold in United Kingdom in 1958, Canada, 1972 and the United States in 1995. Metformin is the most widely prescribed diabetes medication in the world and in the United States alone over 48 million prescriptions were filled in 2010.

Brought to You By:
Charles H. Liu
DDP Medical Writer on Staff

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