AN inexpensive drug commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes could slow the development of heart disease in Type 1 diabetic patients.

Scientists at Newcastle University believe the drug metformin could be effective in delaying heart disease if taken routinely.

For the first time, a clinical trial has revealed metformin can promote a patient’s ability to repair their own damaged blood vessels.

Findings of the clinical trial are published today, following lab work at Newcastle University.

Dr Jolanta Weaver, senior lecturer in diabetes medicine at Newcastle University, led both studies.

She said: “Our research is an exciting step forward as it may have positive clinical implications for patients with increased risk of cardiovascular disease by improving their treatment options”.