Metformin is considered a safe anti-hyperglycemic drug for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, information on its impact on heart failure–related outcomes remains inconclusive. The current systematic review explored evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) reporting on the impact of metformin in modulating heart failure–related markers in patients with or without T2D. Electronic databases such as MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE were searched for eligible studies. Included studies were those assessing the use of metformin as an intervention, and also containing the comparison group on placebo, and all articles had to report on measurable heart failure–related indices in individuals with or without T2D. The modified Downs and Black checklist was used to evaluate the risk of bias. Overall, nine studies met the inclusion criteria, enrolling a total of 2486 patients. Although summarized evidence showed that metformin did not affect left ventricular function, this antidiabetic drug could improve myocardial oxygen consumption concomitant to reducing prominent markers of heart failure such as n-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and low-density lipoprotein levels, inconsistently between diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Effective modulation of some heart failure–related outcomes with metformin treatment was related to its beneficial effects in ameliorating insulin resistance and blocking pro-inflammatory markers such as the aging-associated cytokine CCL11 (C-C motif chemokine ligand 11). Overall, although such beneficial effects were observed with metformin treatment, additional RCTs are necessary to improve our understanding on its modulatory effects on heart failure–related outcomes especially in diabetic patients.
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