Weight Loss May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in People With Pre-Diabetes

Recent research indicates that losing about 10 percent of their previous body weight may help people with pre-diabetes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next three years if the weight loss came within six months of their diagnosis. The findings offer a clue on how short-term lifestyle changes may affect long-term health, especially for people with great risk of developing diabetes. A report on the said research is published on the online Journal of General Internal Medicine.

A team of researchers from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, led by Nisa Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based the recent conclusions by analyzing data from the Diabetes Prevention Program, considered as the largest diabetes prevention study in the United States. Overweight and hyperglycemic participants were recruited between 1996 and 1999 for the DPP study, which followed the study group for an average of 3.2 years. The more than 3,000 participants located at 27 academic medical centers randomly assigned different treatments for their pre-diabetes condition. People with pre-diabetes have higher than normal blood sugar levels

But not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.

Participants either receive an intense lifestyle intervention program, a treatment consisting of taking metformin to reduce blood glucose levels, or a placebo.

Participants who took the lifestyle intervention program of the study were advised regarding better eating habits, told to exercise 150 minutes a week, and then given one-on-one counseling for the first six months and then group counseling afterwards.

Maruthur and her team looked into the collected study data to search for links to short-term weight loss, reduction of blood sugar levels and their impact on diabetes risk over the long term. They found out that participants on the lifestyle intervention regimen who lost 10 percent or more of their body weight experienced an 85 percent reduction rate of their risk in developing diabetes over the next three years. Even the participants who lost just 5 to 7 percent of their body weight experienced a 54 percent risk reduction three years later.

Those who were given metformin treatment did not lose a significant number in terms of their weight. But those who were able to significantly lower their blood sugar levels in the six months of taking the medication also experienced a risk reduction of developing diabetes. According to Maruthur, the participants who lose weight as well as lowered their blood sugar levels during the period of the study experienced the lowest risk from developing type 2 diabetes.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine (2013, July 16). People with pre-diabetes who drop substantial weight may ward off type 2 diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 18, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716131909.htm
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