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Metformin May Help Obese With Prediabetes Maintain Weight Loss

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 -- Metformin is associated with long-term weight loss (LTWL), according to the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS) published online April 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

John W. Apolzan, Ph.D., from the Louisiana State University System in Baton Rouge, and colleagues examined predictors of LTWL in clinics associated with the Diabetes Prevention Program, a randomized controlled trial that compared the efficacy of metformin, intensive lifestyle intervention (ILS), or placebo in the prevention of type 2 diabetes among overweight or obese individuals with elevated glucose levels, and the DPPOS, which observed patients after the masked treatment phase.

The researchers found that 28.5, 62.6, and 13.4 percent of participants in the metformin, ILS, and placebo groups, respectively, had lost at least 5 percent of their weight after one year. After the end of the masked treatment phase, 6.2, 3.7, and 2.8 percent of the mean weight loss relative to baseline was maintained between years 6 and 15 in the three groups, respectively. In all groups, greater weight loss in the first year was an independent predictor of LTWL. Other predictors included older age and continued metformin use in the metformin group; older age and absence of diabetes or family history of diabetes in the ILS group; and higher fasting plasma glucose level at baseline in the placebo group.

"Future investigations should focus on whether metformin could be a useful intervention for LTWL after initial weight loss with lifestyle interventions, antiobesity drugs or devices, or bariatric surgery," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; several pharmaceutical, nutrition, and health care companies provided funding for the study.

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Posted: April 2019

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