Whether metformin might affect the risk of benign nodular goiter in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus has not been investigated.
Patients with new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus during 1999–2005 were enrolled from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance database. Analyses were conducted in a propensity score matched-pairs of 20,048 ever users and 20,048 never users of metformin. The patients were followed until December 31, 2011, for the incidence of benign nodular goiter. Hazard ratios were estimated by Cox regression incorporated with the inverse probability of treatment weighting using the propensity score.
Among the never users and ever users of metformin, 392 and 221 cases were diagnosed of benign nodular goiter during follow-up, with incidence of 457.88 and 242.45 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. The overall hazard ratio for ever versus never users was 0.527 (95% confidence interval: 0.447–0.621). When cumulative duration of metformin therapy was divided into tertiles, the hazard ratios for the first (<25.3 months), second (25.3–57.3 months) and third (>57.3 months) tertiles were 0.815 (0.643–1.034), 0.648 (0.517–0.812) and 0.255 (0.187–0.348), respectively. Sensitivity analyses estimating the overall hazard ratios for patients enrolled in each specific year from 1999 to 2005 consistently showed a lower risk of benign nodular goiter among users of metformin.
Metformin use is associated with a lower risk of benign nodular goiter in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.