Metformin use was associated with a significantly lower risk of dementia in African American patients, revealed a large observational cohort study that examined male veterans over the age of 50 with type 2 diabetes.
The study included data from 73,500 patients who received care through the Veteran's Health Administration from 2000-2015 and were diabetes- and dementia-free at baseline and who subsequently developed type 2 diabetes and began treatment with either metformin or sulfonylurea. Cox proportional hazards models, using propensity scores and inverse probability treatment to balance confounding factors, were computed to measure the association of both drugs and incident dementia across race and age groups. For African American patients aged 50-64 years, the hazard ratio for developing dementia was 0.60 (CI, 0.45-0.81), and for African American patients aged 65-74 years, the hazard ratio was 0.71 (CI, 0.53-0.94).
The study showed modest to no association between metformin and lower risk for dementia in white patients 65-74 and no association in other age groups. The present results may point to a novel approach for reducing dementia risk in African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus.