WASHINGTON — Metformin combined with a reduced-calorie diet reduced cardiovascular risk in a study of 791 women with polycystic ovary syndrome, Mofiz Haque, M.D., reported in a poster presented at the Clinical Research 2005 meeting.
The metformin-diet (MET-D) combination was effective in reducing weight, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol, reported Dr. Haque of the cholesterol center at the Jewish Hospital, Cincinnati, and his colleagues.
At baseline, the women had a median weight of 95 kg; 15% were overweight, 46% were obese, and 29% were severely obese. At baseline, the mean triglyceride level was 108 mg/dL, LDL cholesterol was 116 mg/dL, and HDL cholesterol was 46 mg/dL.
Women with a BMI less than 25 kg/m
Overall, metformin targeted to 2,500 mg/day in combination with dietary restriction was associated with significant reductions in weight, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
The mean weight loss was 5 kg (5%), 6 kg (6%), and 5 kg (5%) for women who took medication for 12–18 months, 18–24 months, and more than 24 months, respectively. In those three groups, 13%, 14%, and 15% of the women lost at least 15% of their body weight.
Triglyceride levels dropped significantly—by 17 mg/dL—among the 65 women who followed the MET-D regimen for 18–24 months.
LDL cholesterol levels fell an average of 6 mg/dL (4%) and 9 mg/dL (7%), respectively, among the 102 women who followed the regimen for 12–18 months and the 210 women who followed the regimen for more than 24 months.
HDL cholesterol levels rose an average of 2 mg/dL (6%) and 4 mg/dL (8%) among women who followed the regimen for 18–24 months and more than 24 months, respectively. Both increases were statistically significant.
In general, about 75% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome are obese, with unhealthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels. MET-D appears to be an effective strategy for helping such patients lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors associated with overweight and obesity, the investigators noted.