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Metformin may stop glaucoma in diabetes patients

By jeremyc | May 23, 2015

A recent study indicates that metformin, a common diabetes medication, may prevent patients from suffering from open-angle glaucoma.

The study was led by author Julia Richards, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who said, “Should these findings be confirmed in other populations in prospective clinical trials, they may lead to novel treatments for this sight-threatening disease and offer new opportunities to reduce other risks of aging.”

The researchers looked at diabetes patients who took metformin. Past research has found that this medication, along with others, may help reduce diabetic complication risks, but this marks the first study to look at glaucoma and age-associated eye diseases.

For this study, the researchers looked at data on over 150,000 patients who were under medical care in 2001-2010. Almost 4 percent of them had open-angle glaucoma. The patients were given metformin and other common medications like insulin, meglitinide, thiazolidinediones and sulfonylureas.

On analysis, the researchers found that the patients who were given metformin had a lower risk of open angle glaucoma than the patients who did not have the medication. Patients who took a standard 2g daily dose of metformin for two years saw their risk of open angle glaucoma drop almost 21 percent.

The risks of this eye disease did not change in the case of other diabetes medications.

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