Metformin lowers risk of late miscarriage, preterm birth in pregnant women with PCOS

March 20, 2018

CHICAGO--The oral diabetes medication metformin seems to reduce the chance of a late miscarriage and premature birth among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) but does not affect their rate of developing gestational diabetes, a multicenter study finds. The results were presented Tuesday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Women with PCOS are at increased risk for infertility, and if they do become pregnant, they have a higher chance of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage and preterm birth, as well as a form of diabetes during pregnancy called gestational diabetes. PCOS is the most common hormone disorder among females of childbearing age, affecting up to 10 percent of these women, according to the Hormone Health Network.

A total of 487 pregnant women with PCOS participated in the study at 14 research centers in Norway, Sweden and Iceland. They were randomly assigned to receive either daily metformin (2,000 milligrams) or an inactive placebo from their first trimester to delivery, but did not know which drug they received. The average age of participants was 29 years old. After excluding women who dropped out of the study, the researchers found that a combined incidence of late miscarriage (pregnancy loss in the second trimester) and premature birth (at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy) was almost halved in the women receiving metformin versus placebo.

Only 9 (5 percent) of the 211 women who completed the study in the metformin group experienced late miscarriage or preterm birth, compared with 23 (10 percent) of 223 women who received the placebo, the investigators reported.

"Metformin had this beneficial effect if the women adhered to the treatment," said Tone Loevvik, M.D., the study's lead investigator and a Ph.D. student at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. "Of the women who stayed in the study, 81 percent took more than 80 percent of their medication."

The study had a dropout rate of about 10 percent, which Loevvik said they consider "quite good" for this type of study.

The investigators found a similar frequency of gestational diabetes in the two study groups. Therefore, Loevvik said metformin appeared to have no effect in lowering the risk of this type of diabetes, which itself can raise the chance of pregnancy complications.

"This finding is disappointing but not surprising," Loevvik said. "It is in accordance with the results from two previous studies from our research group."

Metformin treatment, however, was associated with less weight gain during pregnancy. Loevvik said this was a positive finding because the study participants had an average body mass index, or BMI, of 29 kg/m2, which is overweight, and doctors recommend that women with overweight or obesity gain less weight during pregnancy than for healthy-weight women.

Doctors often prescribe metformin for women with PCOS to prevent type 2 diabetes. Metformin is approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes in the United States and Nordic countries and also for gestational diabetes in the Nordic countries.
-end-
Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

The Endocrine Society

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.