Study Shows Lifestyle Changes or Metformin Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk
A news release by the National Institute of Health reports that a 10-year study showed that lifestyle changes and/or the use of metformin reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes.
After collecting a decades' worth of data, researchers found that those people who made intensive lifestyle changes also had more favorable cardiovascular risk factors, including lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, despite taking fewer drugs to control their heart disease risk.
Participants treated with the oral diabetes drug metformin reduced the rate of developing diabetes by 18 percent, compared to the placebo.
"In 10 years, participants in the lifestyle changes group delayed type 2 diabetes by about four years compared with placebo, and those in the metformin group delayed it by two years. The benefits of intensive lifestyle changes were especially pronounced in the elderly. People age 60 and older lowered their rate of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years by about half," said study chair David M. Nathan, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital.
The intensive lifestyle changes described by the study include lowering fat and calories in the diet, and increasing exercise to 150 minutes per week.
"Sustaining even modest weight loss with lifestyle changes is highly challenging, but it produced major long-term health rewards by lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and reducing other cardiovascular risk factors in people at high risk of developing diabetes," said lead author and a principal investigator for the study, William Knowler, M.D., Dr.P.H., of theNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Phoenix. "Once we learned how dramatically this intervention reduced diabetes onset in the DPP, we offered modified training in lifestyle changes to all participants, which probably contributed to the falling diabetes rates in the placebo and metformin groups."