Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the United States.
Researchers are constantly trying to find new ways to combat the disease and its many terrible side effects such as blindness. Now there is a helpful pill.
Fox news reports on the new study.
Metformin is a pill that is currently used to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Researchers are saying it also reduces their threat of developing glaucoma, an eye disease that can lead to vision loss and blindness according to the new study.
The results can not yet substantiate the claim that the drug prevents glaucoma, but researchers found that diabetics taking higher doses of metformin were not as likely to produce the eye disease than those who utilized smaller doses or did not even take the pill.
The senior author on the study, Miss Richards, said, “Our hope is that if we can confirm the findings in diabetics, who clearly benefit from metformin for their diabetes, additional studies can be performed among persons without diabetes.”
How common is diabetes?
Why is it important to find cures?
The World Health Organization estimates that around 1 in 10 adults around the world is suffering from diabetes; and with there being fatal and dangerous side effects such as blindness, it is extremely important to find solutions to the problems posed by diabetes.
The majority of these people have type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and getting older and occurs when the body can not make or use enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood sugar into energy.
What does this medicine do exactly?
Fox explains, “Metformin lowers blood sugar by preventing the liver from making excess glucose and by making muscle and fat cells better at using available insulin.”
What is glaucoma?
This is a group of eye conditions that can hurt the optic nerve, typically because pressure builds up inside the actual eye. The current study concentrated on the most popular variation, known as open-angle glaucoma, which starts with gradual loss of peripheral vision.
“Richards and colleagues reviewed a database with a decade of health claims and prescription data for 40 million patients. They focused their analysis on a subset of about 150,000 people with diabetes who also had multiple eye exams to screen for glaucoma,” according to Fox.
How was the study conducted?
When the study began period in 2001, all of the patients were at least 40 years old and roughly half were 55 or older. Most of them were also white or caucasion
Over time, around 6,000 people, or 4 percent of participants, developed glaucoma. “Patients over age 65 were three times more likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma than the youngest participants, aged 40 to 45,” according to Fox.
What did the final analysis show?
The experts found that people who took the equivalent of more than 1.5 grams of metformin a day for two years were around 25 percent less likely to develop glaucoma, this was eye opening.