Metformin Prescription Associated with Reduced Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Growth Rate and Reduced Chemokine Expression in a Swedish Cohort

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Background: Recent reports suggest that the negative association between diabetes mellitus and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) may be driven by metformin, the world's most common antidiabetic drug rather than diabetes per se. We sought to investigate the association among AAA growth rate, chemokine profile, and metformin prescription in a contemporary Swedish cohort. Methods: Patients under surveillance for small AAA were identified at 4 Swedish vascular centers with active AAA screening programs. Annual AAA growth rate, medical history, and prescribed medications were recorded for linear regression analysis. In a subset of patients with AAA and control subjects without AAA or diabetes, plasma samples were available and analyzed for 40 inflammatory chemokines. Results: A total of 526 patients were included for AAA growth analysis: 428 without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), 65 with T2DM and metformin prescription, and 33 with T2DM but without metformin prescription. Patients were included from 2005 to 2017 with mean follow-up of 3.2 (1.7) years and median annual AAA growth rate 1.6 mm, range −4.8 to 15.4 mm. Mean (standard deviation) annual AAA growth rates were 2.3 (2.2) mm in non-T2DM patients versus 1.1 (1.1) mm in patients with T2DM with metformin prescription and 1.6 (1.4) mm among those with T2DM without metformin prescription. With non-T2DM patients as reference in an unadjusted and 2 adjusted models, metformin prescription was significantly associated with reduced AAA growth rate (P < 0.001, P = 0.005, and P = 0.024, respectively), but not T2DM without metformin prescription (P = 0.137, P = 0.331, and P = 0.479, respectively). Among 240 patients with AAA (152 without T2DM, 51 with T2DM and metformin, and 37 with T2DM without metformin) and 59 without AAA or T2DM, metformin prescription was associated with reduced expression of chemokines representing all classes of leukocytes. Conclusions: Metformin prescription is associated with reduced AAA growth rate, possibly mediated by broad anti-inflammatory effects. A randomized controlled trial is needed to determine what role metformin may play in AAA disease, particularly in the absence of T2DM.


  • Jon Unosson
  • Dick Wågsäter
  • Niclas Bjarnegård
  • Rachel De Basso
  • Martin Welander
  • Kevin Mani
  • Anders Gottsäter
  • Anders Wanhainen
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Uppsala universitet
  • Linköping University
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Jönköping University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Kardiologi
Sidor (från-till)425-433
Antal sidor9
TidskriftAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Tidigt onlinedatum2020 jun 30
StatusPublished - 2021 jan 1
Peer review utfördJa