The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AAIC 2018.

CHICAGO — The use of metformin may be associated with an increased risk for dementia in older African Americans with diabetes. This research was presented at the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 22-26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

This study included 953 African American participants with a mean age of 74.6 (SD 6.0) and who were 69.6% female. Participants in this study were part of the Indianapolis-Ibadan Dementia Project that took place from 1992 to 2011 and were assessed for dementia every second or third year during follow-up. The study did not include any individuals with a dementia diagnosis at baseline. The participants’ electronic medical records were utilized to assess the use of metformin. The relationship between use of metformin and time to dementia was evaluated using Cox proportional hazard models, with adjustments made for demographic characteristics, APOE ε4 carrier status, and comorbidities.

Of these participants, 150 used metformin. During the follow-up period, 87 individuals developed dementia. After adjustments for gender, body mass index, age, education, and APOE ε4 status, the use of metformin was linked with a greater risk for incident dementia (hazard ratio 2.28; P =.0152).

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Further, those using metformin were at increased risk for complications with diabetes (odds ratio 1.47; P =.0168). The relationship between use of metformin and heightened risk for dementia did not change with adjustments for comorbidities and complications from diabetes.

The study researchers concluded that “[there] was a significant association between metformin use and increased risk of incident dementia in African American participants with diabetes. Further research is needed to determine the factors underlying this association.”

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Murray MD, Hendrie HC, Xu C, Teal E, Callahan CM, Gao S. The association between metformin and incident dementia in a cohort of African Americans with diabetes. Presented at: 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. July 22-26, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 25542.