Taking metformin and insulin in conjunction raises mortality risk for diabetes patients

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
STATINS RED ALERT: Widely prescribed drugs act as cellular poisons that accelerate aging... deactivate DNA repair... promote diabetes, muscle fatigue and memory loss
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
(NaturalNews) Combining the diabetes drug metformin with insulin significantly increases patients' risk of death, according to a study conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University and published in a diabetes-themed issue of JAMA on June 11.

The researchers compared the use of metformin in conjunction with insulin to the use of the same drug in conjunction with antidiabetic drugs in the sulfonylurea class.

"These findings require further investigation to understand risks associated with insulin use in these patients and call into question recommendations that insulin is equivalent to sulfonylureas for patients who may be able to receive an oral agent," the researchers wrote.

Higher risk for no benefit

According to both the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, metformin is the preferred first-line treatment -- along with lifestyle changes such as improving diet and exercise -- for diabetic patients with intact kidney function. If these measures alone are not enough to achieve treatment goals, doctors will often supplement metformin with a secondary medication. There is no scientific or medical consensus, however, on which secondary medication is safest or most effective.

Sulfonylurea drugs are popular as a secondary medication, but in recent years the use of insulin has also become popular. Limited clinical trials have suggested that combining metformin with insulin can help achieve fast and flexible control of patients' blood sugar levels.

To evaluate these two separate approaches, researchers examined national Veterans Health Administration, Medicare and National Death Index databases for records on 178,341 diabetic veterans. All the patients had been initially treated with metformin between the years 2001 and 2008, and many were later treated with either sulfonylurea or insulin. Patients took metformin for a median length of 14 months before receiving a secondary medication, and the median follow-up time after this point was also 14 months.

The researchers found that patients who received insulin were significantly more likely to die during the study period than sulfonylurea patients.

"Our study suggests that intensification of metformin with insulin among patients who could add a sulfonylurea offers no advantage in regard to risk of cardiovascular events and is associated with some risk," the researchers wrote.

Previous findings had suggested that insulin might also be more likely to increase the rate of stroke and heart attack, a finding that this study supported. Likewise, no improved treatment outcomes were seen from insulin, compared with alternatives.

"Our finding of a modestly increased risk of a composite of cardiovascular events and death in metformin users who add insulin compared with sulfonylurea is consistent with the available clinical trial and observational data," the researchers wrote. "None of these studies found an advantage of insulin compared with oral agents for cardiovascular risk, and several reported increased cardiovascular risk or weight gain and hypoglycemic episodes, which could result in poorer outcomes."

Doctor education needed

In an accompanying editorial, Monika M. Safford, MD, of the University of Alabama-Birmingham praised the researchers for conducting a study comparing the effectiveness of separate treatments.

"Comparative effectiveness research is creating new challenges as it generates much needed new evidence," Safford wrote.

"Some of the creativity being brought to bear on advancing methods of analysis may also be needed to advance methods of communicating both methods and results to practicing clinicians, and perhaps more importantly, to the patients who are facing decisions that may (or may not) have profound implications for their health and well-being."

Diabetes is a major public health crisis, affecting more than 25 million people in the United States alone. It is the seventh-leading cause of death, and the foremost cause of adult blindness and kidney failure.

Sources for this article include:

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Metformin at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.