New York: Researchers have discovered that metformin -- a drug commonly used to treat Type-2 diabetes -- might also be used to treat a specific form of heart failure known as preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), finds a new study.
In a mice study, published in the journal of General Physiology, researchers showed that metformin relaxes a key heart muscle protein called titin, allowing the heart to properly fill with blood before pumping it around the body. This improves the animals' capacity for exercise.
"We therefore conclude that metformin is a potential therapy for patients with HFpEF," said Henk Granzier, Professor at the University of Arizona in the US.
"Because the drug is already approved and well tolerated in humans, using it to target titin stiffness presents a unique opportunity for immediate translation to the clinic," said Granzier.
HFpEF is more common in women and other risk factors include hypertension, old age, and obesity.
Unlike other forms of heart failure, however, there are currently no drugs available to treat HFpEF, according to the researchers.