How does metformin therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) affect the risk of developing dementia?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
  • Print

Metformin may also decrease the risk of dementia associated with type 2 diabetes. In a 2013 observational study of 14,891 patients aged 55 years and older with type 2 diabetes, treatment with metformin signlificantly lowered the risk of developing dementia. [287] Only patients who initiated therapy with a single drug (metformin, sulfonylureas [SU], thiazolidinediones [TZDs], or insulin) during the study period were included.

During 5 years of followup, dementia was diagnosed in 1487 (9.9%) patients. [287] Compared with patients starting SU, those starting metformin had about a 20% reduced risk for dementia. Compared with patients starting TZD, those starting metformin had a 23% lower risk. [287]

Conversely, starting SU treatment (compared with metformin) was associated with a 24% increased risk for dementia; starting TZD treatment was associated with an 18% increased risk; and starting insulin treatment was associated with a 28% increased risk. [287]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!