Can Metformin Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Type 1 Diabetes Patients?


JDRF-funded researchers have begun enrolling adult patients with type 1 diabetes in the REMOVAL study, to test whether metformin-a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes-could help prevent or reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications in people with type 1 diabetes.

The REMOVAL study (Reducing with MetfOrmin Vascular AdversLesions in type 1 diabetes) is a multi-center, international trial that will study 500 patients with type 1 diabetes aged 40 or older, a patient group known to be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death associated with diabetes. A study from the United Kingdom has shown that people with type 1 diabetes aged over 40 are at much higher risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. 

The REMOVAL study will follow patients for five years. In the study, metformin or a placebo will be added to regular insulin therapy. The study will also test the drug’s effects on the control of diabetes and treatment satisfaction, as well as its effects on other complications, such as diabetic eye disease. Metformin has a proven safety record based on over 50 years of use in people with type 2 diabetes to help control blood glucose levels.

The study is being led by Professor John Petrie from the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom (primary investigator) and Professor Helen Colhoun from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom, and is recruiting participants in five countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The REMOVAL study will be supported in Canada and Australia by the Canadian and Australian governments through the JDRF Canadian Clinical Trial Network (CCTN) and the JDRF Australian Clinical Trial Network (CTN), respectively.

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Kristie W.
Kristie W.
10 years ago

My husband was just diagnosed with diabetes and started on Metformin this week when he went to the local hospital for high blood pressure and left arm numbness.  His blood sugarin the ER, afterhe had ate lunch, was 230, and 100 the following morning after clear liquids for twelve-hours.  He had a heart attack three years ago (July 2009) and was just diagnosed with diabetes, so this will be interesting to follow along and see what his lab results indicate as he remains on the Metformin. 

Randy Anderson
Randy Anderson
11 years ago

Jeff, it would be interesting to know what results you have seen with use of metformin.  Have you noticed any improvement in HbA1c, any reduction in total daily insulin, any improvement in lipids (lower LDL, higher HDL, lower triglycerides)?

Jeff Nobles
Jeff N.
11 years ago

Nice to see this article. I am a longtime type 1 and my endoc has prescribed metformin for me. Never sure if he knows what he’s doing. Now I have more confidence in his advice. Thanks.

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