Osteoarthritis associated with diabetes: a drug reduces the risk.
The use of metformin significantly reduces the risk of joint replacement in people with type 2 diabetes.
Approximately in 2012, it was confirmed that type 2 diabetes is a predictor of the development of severe osteoarthritis, independent of age and body mass index (BMi). Osteoarthritis is a common chronic condition that usually causes joint pain and can be severe enough to require knee and hip replacements.
A team of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Australian researchers set out to determine whether the use of metformin (a drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus) was associated with a lower risk of total knee replacement or total hip replacement. given that the evidence collected so far has been scanty and inconclusive. They analyzed data from 69,706 participants who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Taiwan between 2000 and 2012 and compared the risk of knee and/or hip replacement between people taking metformin and those taking they didn’t take it. The median age was 63, and half were women. Approximately 90% of total joint replacements were related to osteoarthritis.
“We found that the use of metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus was associated with a significantly reduced risk of joint replacement, suggesting a potential therapeutic effect of metformin in patients with osteoarthritis,” writes Dr. Changhai Ding, of the Clinical Research Center of Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China, with co-authors.
The authors call for randomized controlled trials to determine whether the use of metformin is effective in patients with osteoarthritis.