MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin use is associated with a reduced risk for total knee replacement (TKR) and total hip replacement (THR), according to a study published online Dec. 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Zhaohua Zhu, Ph.D., from Zhujiang Hospital in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues examined whether metformin use is associated with a reduced risk for TKR or THR among patients with type 2 diabetes. Data were included for 20,347 participants who were not treated with metformin and 20,347 who were treated with metformin after prescription-time distribution matching.

The researchers found that those who used metformin had lower risks for TKR or THR compared with participants who did not use metformin (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.70 for TKR or THR; 0.71 for TKR; 0.61 for THR). Similar results were seen in propensity score-matched analyses, including 10,163 participants not treated with metformin and 10,163 treated with metformin, and in sensitivity analyses using inverse probability of treatment weighting.

“Metformin use in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus was associated with a significantly reduced risk of joint replacement, suggesting a potential therapeutic effect of metformin in patients with osteoarthritis,” the authors write. “Randomized controlled clinical trials are warranted to determine whether metformin is effective in patients with osteoarthritis.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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