The potential benefit of metformin to reduce delirium risk and mortality: a retrospective cohort study

Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Nov 17;14(22):8927-8943. doi: 10.18632/aging.204393. Epub 2022 Nov 17.


Purpose: Metformin has been reported to improve age-related disorders, including dementia, and to lower mortality. This study was conducted to investigate whether metformin use lower delirium risk, as well as long-term mortality.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, previously recruited 1,404 subjects were analyzed. The relationship between metformin use and delirium, and the relationship between metformin use and 3-year mortality were investigated.

Main findings: 242 subjects were categorized into a type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)-without-metformin group, and 264 subjects were categorized into a DM-with-metformin group. Prevalence of delirium was 36.0% in the DM-without-metformin group, and 29.2% in the DM-with-metformin group. A history of metformin use reduced the risk of delirium in patients with DM (OR, 0.50 [95% CI, 0.32 to 0.79]) after controlling for confounding factors. The 3-year mortality in the DM-without-metformin group (survival rate, 0.595 [95% CI, 0.512 to 0.669]) was higher than in the DM-with-metformin group (survival rate, 0.695 [95% CI, 0.604 to 0.770]) (p=0.035). A history of metformin use decreased the risk of 3-year mortality after adjustment for confounding factors (HR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.48 to 0.98]).

Conclusions: Metformin use may lower the risk of delirium and mortality in DM patients.

Keywords: aging; delirium; diabetes mellitus; metformin; mortality.