Can metformin reduce obesity in children and adolescents?


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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The findings of a new study suggest metformin can lower body mass index (BMI), body weight, waist circumference (WC) and fat mass in children and adolescents.

The systematic review and meta-analysis, published in Childhood Obesity, included 38 studies with 2,199 participants.

Pooled results indicated that metformin significantly reduced BMI (weighted mean difference [WMD] -1.07 kg/m2; 95% CI -1.43 to -0.72). Similar results were seen for WC (WMD -1.93 cm; 95% CI -2.69 to -1.16).

Metformin was shown to reduce body weight in all participants (WMD -2.51 kg; 95% CI -3.14 to -1.89). Moreover, it reduced body fat mass in patients with overweight or obesity (WMD -1.90%; 95% CI -3.25 to -0.56) and chronic diseases (WMD -1.41%; 95% CI -2.23 to -0.58), but not among those with growth problems.

Metformin therapy did not affect lean body mass (LBM) in patients with overweight or obesity and growth problems. However, it reduced LBM in patients with chronic diseases (WMD -1.49 kg; 95% CI -2.69 to -0.30).

The authors say more research is needed to confirm the results.