Metformin use is associated with reduced mortality rate from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection

Obes Med. 2020 Sep;19:100290. doi: 10.1016/j.obmed.2020.100290. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Abstract

Background and aims: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a significant impact on all aspects of life. One of the comorbidities associated with severe outcome and mortality of COVID-19 is diabetes. Metformin is one of the drugs which is most commonly used for the treatment of diabetes patients. This study aims to analyze the potential benefit of metformin use in reducing the mortality rate from COVID-19 infection.

Methods: We systematically searched the Google Scholar database using specific keywords related to our aims until August 3rd, 2020. All articles published on COVID-19 and metformin were retrieved. Statistical analysis was done using Review Manager 5.4 software.

Results: A total of 5 studies with a total of 6937 patients were included in our analysis. Our meta-analysis showed that metformin use is associated with reduction in mortality rate from COVID-19 infections [RR 0.54 (95% CI 0.32-0.90), p = 0.02, I 2 = 54%, random-effect modelling].

Conclusion: Metformin has shown benefits in reducing the mortality rate from COVID-19 infections. Patients with diabetes should be advised to continue taking metformin drugs despite COVID-19 infection status.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus disease 2019; Diabetes; Metformin; Treatment.