Researchers have been looking for a link between diabetes and delirium since delirium is more prevalent in dementia patients and type 2 diabetes increases the risk of dementia.

To investigate this link, researchers have been looking at whether the diabetes medicine metformin might lessen the prevalence of delirium in diabetic patients.

Researchers from Stanford University in California have discovered that metformin decreases the incidence of delirium in diabetic patients and increases survival rates over a three-year period when compared to diabetes patients who do not take metformin.

Additionally, in individuals with dementia and delirium, diabetic patients who took metformin had lower mortality risks than non-diabetic patients.

These findings support further research into metformin’s pro-longevity benefits.

The study analyzed 1,404 subjects, with an average age of 68.6 years, of which 506 had diabetes, and 264 of these diabetes patients had a history of metformin use.

The prevalence of delirium in diabetes patients who didn’t use metformin was significantly higher than in those without diabetes.

A non-significant statistical trend also suggested that diabetic patients who used metformin had a reduced prevalence of delirium.

Shinozaki and colleagues suggest that metformin may be beneficial for patients undergoing major surgeries such as cardiac or orthopedic surgery, however, further clinical studies are needed to determine its applicability outside of diabetes.

The study’s limitations include the short three-year period in which mortality was assessed.

Further still, as with many studies of this type that assess data from the past, the study only analysed total metformin use and did not investigate varied effects of metformin at different dosages (a retrospective study).

As a result, no intervention could be controlled, and no cause-and-effect correlations could be deduced.

The research was published in Aging.

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