For diabetics, the threat of a heart attack is much more ominous than non-diabetics, because their prognosis is much worse. However, a new study highlights the ability of a common diabetes drug to simultaneously aid in heart attack recovery.
“Metformin” is the star of this study; the drug treats diabetes by enhancing the body’s response to insulin. In their paper published in the journal Cardiovascular Diabetology,
a collaborative group of experts developed a heart attack simulation in the lab made up of stems cells from both cord blood and umbilical cord cells.
They saw metformin reverse the impact of high glucose levels and low oxygen levels in the blood following a heart attack in a diabetes patient. By doing so, metformin speeds up the process of blood vessel formation.
The researchers are hoping the metformin will not be the only diabetes drug producing this effect, because heart attacks are the leading cause of illness in diabetic patients.
“Our study is the first report describing the effect of the physiological concentration of metformin as seen in patients,” said Jolanta Weaver, PhD, from Newcastle University. “Furthermore, our study concentrated on the time period vital during a heart attack when, with new therapy, we can help patients most."
The International Diabetes Federations predicts that almost 600 million adults worldwide will have diabetes by the year 2035.
Source: Newcastle University