Association Between Metformin Use and Cognitive and Physical Function in Persons with HIV and Diabetes

Mary Clare Masters*, Janeway Granche, Jingyan Yang, Edgar T. Overton, Scott Letendre, Susan L. Koletar, Leah H. Rubin, Todd T. Brown, Katherine Tassiopoulos, Kristine M. Erlandson, Frank Palella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Older persons with HIV (PWH) experience high rates of cognitive impairment and frailty, and accelerated decline in physical function compared with the general population. Metformin use has been associated with beneficial effects on cognitive and physical function among older adults without HIV. The relationship between metformin use on these outcomes in PWH has not been evaluated. AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) A5322 is an observational cohort study of older PWH with annual assessments for cognition and frailty, including measures of physical function (e.g., gait speed and grip strength). Participants with diabetes who were prescribed antihyperglycemic medications were included in this analysis to evaluate the association between metformin and functional outcomes. Cross-sectional, longitudinal, and time-to-event models were used to evaluate the relationship between metformin exposure with cognitive, physical function, and frailty outcomes. Ninety-eight PWH met inclusion criteria and were included in at least one model. No significant associations between metformin use, frailty, physical, or cognitive function were noted in unadjusted or adjusted cross-sectional, longitudinal, or time-to-event models (p > .1 for all models). This study is the first to examine the association between metformin use on functional outcomes among older PWH. Although it did not ascertain significant associations between metformin use and functional outcomes, our small sample size, restriction to persons with diabetes, and lack of randomization to metformin therapy were limitations. Larger randomized studies are needed to determine whether metformin use has beneficial effects on cognitive or physical function in PWH. Clinical Trial Registration numbers: 02570672, 04221750, 00620191, and 03733132.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • HIV
  • aging
  • frailty
  • metformin
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Immunology


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