WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Metformin treatment reduces some obesity measures in children, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Feb. 18 in Childhood Obesity.

Alireza Sadeghi, Ph.D., from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences Iran, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of metformin therapy on obesity indices in children and adolescents. The authors included all clinical trials that evaluated the effect of metformin on obesity indices in children and adolescents that were published before September 2018 (38 studies).

The researchers found that among the 2,199 study participants included in the analysis, metformin treatment significantly reduced body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. All patients had reduced body weight with metformin therapy. In patients with overweight or obesity and chronic diseases, metformin reduced body fat mass, except among those with growth problems. Metformin therapy did not alter lean body mass (LBM) in patients with overweight, obesity, or growth problems, but LBM was reduced in patients with chronic diseases.

“This study is the first meta-analysis on the effect of metformin on various obesity indices among children and adolescents. We found a significant reduction in BMI, body weight, waist circumference, and fat mass following intake of metformin,” the authors write. “However, no significant effect of metformin therapy on LBM was found in the current meta-analysis. Further studies, in particular among participants with specific health conditions, are needed to confirm these findings.”

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