The diabetes drug metformin lowers blood sugar, an outcome that may independently lower the risk of dying from COVID-19 in this group. Yet some experts speculate that the drug may have other properties that reduce the severity of the respiratory illness.
Even though people with diabetes are at an elevated risk for having complications and dying from COVID-19, a new study suggests that a common hypoglycemic drug may help lessen the toll of the respiratory disease in this group.
For the study, published in May 2020 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, researchers studied the health outcomes of 283 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, who all had diabetes, according to the paper. The analysis included 104 participants taking metformin and 179 patients who didn’t take this drug. Metformin is commonly prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes to help lower their A1C, a three-month average of blood sugar levels.
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