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Published on 29 October 2009

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Weight loss ‘cuts diabetes risk’


Weight loss and lifestyle changes are more effective than the first-line drug metformin at reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a report published in The Lancet online.

That is the conclusion of research by Dr William Knowler and colleagues at the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group.

They report that in the 2.8 years of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), diabetes in high-risk adults was reduced by 58% by lifestyle changes and 31% with metformin.

The authors were conducting a follow-up outcomes study to determine the long-term effects of the program as measured by American Diabetes Association criteria.

The authors conclude: “In this study, onset of diabetes was delayed by about four years by lifestyle intervention and two years by metformin compared with placebo.

“Our results have shown that a reduction in diabetes cumulative incidence by either lifestyle intervention or metformin therapy persists for at least 10 years.

“The long-term reductions in bodyweight and diabetes are encouraging, but further quantification of long-term outcomes is crucial to establish the benefits of diabetes prevention.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

The Lancet

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