The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Study Shows African Americans May Respond Better Than Whites to Diabetes Drug Metformin

Black woman with diabetes

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 26 million Americans have diabetes, and most of the diabetes is type 2. Metformin is an oral anti-diabetic drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A new study indicates that African Americans taking the drug had better results than whites.

The study

The study, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, showed that African Americans using Metformin had higher improvements in controlling their blood sugar levels than white patients. In fact, the results were more than double in Blacks, who experienced a .9 percent decrease after receiving the maximum dosage of Metformin, compared to the .42 percent decrease reported among whites. The study was based on data from more than 19,600 black and white Americans who participated in the study of Metformin from 1997 to 2013.

Blacks have a higher risk of diabetes

The results were positive for African Americans who are at risk for diabetes at a rate that is double the rate for whites. They also have more complications resulting from type 2 diabetes, such as kidney failure. Metformin is believed to be the only anti-diabetic drug that may possibly have less risk of cardiovascular complications.

Metformin is the most popular drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the U.S.  In 2010 alone, more than 48 million prescriptions were filled in the U.S. for the drug or its generic equivalent.
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