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Behavioral Interventions can Prevent Prediabetes Progression

Update Date: Nov 28, 2014 02:50 PM EST

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing full-blown diabetes. In a new study, researchers found that behavioral and drug interventions can prevent people from progressing to type 2 diabetes.

For this study, the researchers reviewed 12 studies that were conducted between 1980 and 2013. They compared the effectiveness of different treatments in preventing diabetes for men and women. The team found that men and women who adopted lifestyle changes, which included dieting and exercising, had a 40 percent reduced risk of being diagnosed with diabetes after one year. After three years, the patients were 37 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

The researchers added that lifestyle interventions helped with weight loss. These interventions also improved patients' fasting plasma glucose.

 "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review that assessed potential sex-specific differences in effects of preventive interventions in prediabetic people. Overall, based on data from more than 5,500 men and 7,400 women, our review did not find any relevant sex-specific differences in treatment effects during 1 to 6 years of active interventions. In both sexes, lifestyle and pharmacological interventions had a beneficial preventive effect on the incidence of type 2 diabetes and weight gain," the authors commented according to the press release. "Recent cost-effectiveness analyses indicate that lifestyle interventions are the most cost-effective approach. In people with prediabetes who are not able to adhere to lifestyle changes, initiation of metformin is probably the next best option, but thus far, no trial evidence confirms this for non-responders to lifestyle interventions."

The study was published in the journal, Diabetologia.

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