Diabetes drug could increase lifespan: Study A new study sheds new light on a diabetes drug that controls glucose, suggesting it could have preventative capabilities and even increase lifespan. (Relaxnews) - A large-scale study conducted by researchers at published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Murmurs of metformin's attributes had been circulating within the scientific community, and the findings of the published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. and the findings of the Cardiff study not only build on its benefits but are of particular interest due to the massive sample size of 180,000 participants. Researchers compared survival rates of type 2 diabetes patients taking metformin, a first-line therapy, with those of patients on a less-prescribed diabetes drug called sulphonylurea, known for undesirable side effects such as weight gain and hypoglycemia. "What we found was illuminating," said lead author Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University's School of Medicine. According to Dr. Currie, patients undergoing metformin treatment exhibited small yet statistically important survival increases by comparison to non-diabetics. As for those treated with sulphonylureas, their rate of survival was consistently reduced when compared to that of non-diabetics. "This was true even without any clever statistical manipulation," says Dr. Currie. Researchers used data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, representing around 10% of the UK population. They identified 78,241 patients who were prescribed metformin as a first-line therapy and 12,222 patients prescribed a sulphonylurea as a first-line therapy. Each patient was then compared to a non-diabetic. Patients with type 2 diabetes are often forced to resort to more aggressive treatment options as their disease progresses, so a long life expectancy is no guarantee, although Dr. Currie plans to concoct a long-term treatment plan for diabetics to circumvent this transition. published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. .