(HealthDay News) — Metformin use is associated with a substantially lower risk for dementia among younger African-American patients with diabetes compared with sulfonylurea initiation, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Jeffrey F. Scherrer, PhD, from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and colleagues used Veterans Health Administration medical record data (2000 to 2015) to identify 73,761 African-American and white patients (aged ≥50 years) who were free of dementia and diabetes medications at baseline (2000 and 2001) but subsequently initiated metformin or sulfonylurea monotherapy.
When controlling for other variables, the researchers found that metformin use was associated with a significantly lower risk for dementia compared with sulfonylurea use in African-American patients (hazard ratio [HR], 0.73; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.6 to 0.89) but not among white patients (HR, 0.96; 95 percent CI, 0.9 to 1.03). The association was strongest among African-American patients aged 50 to 64 years (HR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.81). Metformin was significantly associated with a lower risk for dementia in both races for older patients (those aged 65 to 74 years). There was no association between metformin use and dementia in patients aged ≥75 years.
“These results may point to a novel approach for reducing the risk of dementia in African-Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” the authors write.