Impacts of metformin on tuberculosis incidence and clinical outcomes in patients with diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Meng Zhang
  • Jian-qing HeEmail author



Accumulating evidence suggested that the use of metformin had more benefits for both prevention and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) than non-metformin use in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM); however, it remains to be fully elucidated on this topic. Thus, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies to determine the association between metformin use and TB in patients with diabetes.


The MEDLINE, EMBASE, Information Sciences Institute (ISI) Web of Science, and Cochrane CENTRAL databases were searched from their inception to 15 April 2019. Studies that evaluated the use of metformin and TB disease were included. The quality of each study was evaluated through the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). For pooled data, the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated; otherwise, a systematic review.


Seventeen observational studies were included, all of which indicated a low risk of bias according to the NOS. The pooled analysis showed that metformin use was associated with a significantly lower active TB incidence and mortality among individuals with DM (RR = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.38–0.69, P ⩽ 0.001) and with TB-DM (RR = 0.34; 95% CI, 0.20–0.57, P ⩽ 0.001), respectively.


This meta-analysis indicated metformin use is related to benefits in both prevention and treatment outcomes of tuberculosis among patients with diabetes. Prospective clinical trials are needed to confirm these associations.


Metformin Tuberculosis Diabetes mellitus Meta-analysis Systematic review 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81870015)

Authors’ contributions

ZM and HJQ both searched databases, selected studies, extracted data, analyzed data. ZM wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Availability of data and material

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

228_2019_2786_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 29 kb)
228_2019_2786_MOESM2_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineWest China Hospital of Sichuan UniversityChengduChina

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