Metformin Use Decreases Risk of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Other oral hypoglycemic agents have no effect on the risk.
Other oral hypoglycemic agents have no effect on the risk.

Use of the diabetes drug metformin is associated with a decreased risk of a prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis, new findings suggest.

In a study of 12,226 men diagnosed with PCa and 122,260 population controls, Mark A. Preston, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found that men who used metformin had a significant 16% decreased risk of a PCa diagnosis in adjusted analyses compared with non-users. Among men who had undergone PSA testing in the previous year, metformin use was associated with a significant 34% decreased risk of a PCa diagnosis.

Diabetics on no medication or on other oral hypoglycemic agents did have a significant decrease in the risk of a PCa diagnosis, the researchers reported online ahead of print in European Urology.

The researchers identified study subjects using the Danish Cancer Registry and the Aarhus University Prescription Database.

In a previous Canadian study of older diabetic men published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2013;105:1123-1131), researchers found no association between metformin use and PCa risk. The study included 5,306 PCa case subjects and 26,530 matched controls. A meta-analysis published in Cancer Epidemiology (2013;37:207-218) found that metformin can reduce the incidence of a number of cancers, but had no effect on PCa incidence.

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