Surprises continue to arise out of the aggressive research into COVID 19 risk factors. As the numbers of infected patients continue to accumulate and politicians push the need to protect hospitals from overflow, we keep learning why some people get it worse than others. In this case, a surprising contributor comes out of the diabetes world. Metformin, a very old diabetes drug, appears to reduce COVID 19 mortality by maybe half.
One might think that metformin was simply lowering blood sugar for these patients. However, those on metformin did not have a lower average blood sugar, as measured by A1c, than those diabetics who were not on metformin. Something else must be happening.
At this point, only speculation is offered. One might dismiss this study, but after it was peer-reviewed and noted to include over 25 thousand COVID patients at the University of Alabama Birmingham, that is harder to do. Beyond this they evaluated whether prior insulin use protected patients, and it did not.
We look forward to more discoveries like this as we work to help others thrive in 2021 and beyond.
Andrew B. Crouse, Tiffany Grimes, Peng Li, Matthew Might, Fernando Ovalle, Anath Shalev. Metformin Use Is Associated With Reduced Mortality in a Diverse Population With COVID-19 and Diabetes. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2021; 11 DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2020.600439
Thanks to Science Daily:
University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Metformin use reduces risk of death for patients with COVID-19 and diabetes, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210114164004.htm>.