Report: Metformin decreases glaucoma risk in older adults
- An analysis of 150,000 diabetics found that those who took 1.5 grams of the blood sugar medication metformin daily over a two-year period had a 25% decreased risk of developing glaucoma.
- Julia Richards, M.D., and her colleagues at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor conducted the study, which used information from a 40 million-person database.
- One concern associated with the oucomes of this study is that higher doses of metformin are associated with side effects, such as cramping, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
In addition to confirming a correlation between daily metformin (at least 1.5 grams per day) and a decreased risk of glaucoma, this study also highlighted other noteworthy trends. Specifically, over a two-year period, roughly 4% of participants developed glaucoma, but patients over the age of 65 were three times more likely to develop glaucoma than patients aged 40 to 45.
There was another wrinkle that informs the clinical practicality of prescribing large doses of daily metformin (note that average dosing is 1 gram per day): Though there was a distinct correlation between taking metformin and a reduced risk of developing glaucoma, the results were not statistically significant. These results may be most relevant in the over-65 diabetic population; however, more investigation is needed.