Metformin use and the risk of anal intraepithelial neoplasia in type II diabetic patients

Angela Ting Wei Hsu, Ya Ching Hung, Sandy H. Fang, Christopher R. D’Adamo, Arun A. Mavanur, Shane M. Svoboda, Joshua H. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Emerging evidence has suggested that metformin may be protective against the development of human-papillomavirus-related cancers. Anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) is highly associated with human papillomavirus infection and a precancerous status of anal cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between metformin usage and the development of AIN in a large national sample. Methodology: The IBM MarketScan dataset was used to design a nested case–control study from 2010 to 2017. Patients aged 18–65 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) were evaluated, and cases of AIN were identified. Four controls were randomly selected in the risk set of each case by using incidence density sampling. The association between metformin usage and AIN was assessed using multivariate logistic regression modelling. Results: A total of 258 patients with type 2 DM were diagnosed with AIN during the study interval, and these were matched to 1032 control patients without a diagnosis of AIN. Patients who developed AIN had 38% lower odds of prior metformin use compared to those without a history of AIN (P < 0.01) and this finding remained robust after adjusting for age, sex, human immunodeficiency virus infection and DM complications (P = 0.02). Patients with AIN had 56% lower odds of long-term metformin use compared to control patients (P = 0.01). Conclusions: An AIN diagnosis in patients with DM is associated with 56% lower likelihood of prior metformin use. This relationship suggests that metformin could potentially play a protective role against AIN. Prospective studies in non-diabetic patients are warranted to examine these findings further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3220-3226
Number of pages7
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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