Role of metformin in the initiation of pharmacotherapy for type 2 diabetes: An Asian-Pacific perspective

Juliana C.N. Chan, Chaicharn Deerochanawong, A. Samad Shera, Kun Ho Yoon, John M.F. Adam, Ta Van Binh, Siew Pheng Chan, Richard Elwyn Fernando, Lee Chung Horn, Nguyen Thy Khue, Augusto D. Litonjua, Sidartawan Soegondo, Paul Zimmet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Increases in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes of 30-60% will occur in many Asian-Pacific countries by 2025, driven by urbanisation, sedentary habits and energy-rich diets. Obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are closely interrelated. Optimal control of diabetes and associated risk factors has reduced the risk of diabetes-related complications. In the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), metformin reduced the risk of macrovascular complications and retrospective analyses have confirmed the efficacy of metformin in improving clinical outcomes in type 2 diabetic patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. This growing body of evidence has led to the recommendation of metformin as optimum initial pharmacotherapy in overweight type 2 diabetic patients. Obesity is less prevalent in the Asian-Pacific population than in Caucasian populations. Nevertheless, metformin has multiple beneficial metabolic effects, which provide sufficient rationale for it to be recommended as the initial oral anti-diabetic pharmacotherapy, alone or in combination, irrespective of body mass index. This recommendation is consistent with global guidelines and regional recommendations for the Asian-Pacific region from the International Diabetes Federation. These recommendations can serve as templates for development of local guidelines for Asian people with diabetes, given the ethnic and cultural diversity within the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Asian-Pacific
  • Glycaemia
  • Metformin
  • Oral anti-diabetic agents
  • type 2 diabetes


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