Type 2 diabetes is characterised by insulin resistance in association with clustering of atherothrombotic risk factors (dysglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia, hypertension, raised triglyceride, low HDL cholesterol and increased levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and clotting factor VII). There is a 3-5 fold increase in risk of myocardial infarction rising to 10-20 fold in the presence of microalbuminuria and overall around 70-75% of subjects with type 2 diabetes die of cardiovascular disease. However, classical risk factors which associate with insulin resistance do not account for all the increased burden of vascular disease in diabetic subjects. Metformin is a biguanide compound which is antihyperglycaemic, reduces insulin resistance and has cardioprotective effects on lipids, thrombosis and blood flow. Metformin has a weight neutral/weight lowering effect and reduces hypertriglyceridaemia, elevated levels of PAI-1, factor VII and C-reactive protein. In addition recent studies indicate that metformin has direct effects on fibrin structure/function and stabilises platelets, two important components of arterial thrombus. The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) reported that metformin was associated with a 32% reduction in any diabetes related endpoint (p < 0.002), a 39% reduction in myocardial infarction (p < 0.01) and a non-significant 29% fall in microvascular complications. The figures for macrovascular complications compare favourably for those described for other cardioprotective agents such as ACE inhibitors and statins. These findings confirm metformin as first line therapy in the management of obese insulin resistant type 2 diabetes and in the prevention of the vascular complications of this common condition.
Type 2 Diabetes
© 2003 Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.