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Metformin Induces Long-Term Weight Loss in Teens

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2006

Metformin can induce long-term weight loss in obese, non-diabetic adolescents, and could possibly be useful in a regimen to help achieve weight loss in adolescents, who may have developed type 2 diabetes type due to overweight.

The increase of obesity in children and adolescents is reported to be the most significant factor for the current rise in diabetes type II among youths.
Previous studies have shown that short-term metformin therapy is associated with weight loss, however, whether such weight loss persists over time was undetermined. Metformin is also known to improve glucose, lipid abnormalities, and hyperandrogenism in obese adolescents with insulin resistance.

Researchers from the Endocrine Clinic at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, conducted a chart review of 26 adolescents who were obese but did not have diabetes, and who were followed at the Endocrine Clinic. Obesity was defined as body mass index over 95th percentile. Fourteen of the 26 had received metformin (1000 mg/day) for 12 months due to abnormal high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level, triglycerides (TG) level, fasting insulin level or oligo/amenorrhea.

In the treated group, metformin significantly reduced the BMI baseline score at 6 and 12 months. There was no significant change in the BMI scores of the untreated group. When comparing the treated and untreated groups, changes in BMI baseline score were different both at 6 (P = .003) and 12 months (P = .043). After 12 months of metformin, the mean values of homeostasis model assessment and TG were lower than at baseline, while HDL cholesterol was higher; however, none of these changes reached statistical significance, possibly due to the small sample size.

According to lead investigator, Dorit Koren, MD, a general pediatrician, the effect of metformin on weight further supports the indication for its use in obese adolescents with insulin resistance. A prospective study conducted in a larger population sample is warranted.



Source: Diabetes In Control: Presented at the Endocrine Society's 88th Annual Meeting (ENDO 2006). [Presentation title: Long-Term Effect of Metformin Therapy on Adiposity in Obese, Non-Diabetic Adolescents. Abstract 714]

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