Prediabetes Lifestyle Changes Are Best: New Study
A test to detect pre-diabetes would be more cost-effective if it changes the level at which people are diagnosed, according to a new study. The latest report contracts a recommendation that’s been made by the American Diabetes Association.
The analysis by Xiaohui Zhuo, Ph.D, of the federal Centers for Disease Control, focuses on the hemoglobin A1c test for prediabetes. The test analyzes how much sugar is present in red blood cells, and the new study recommended that only patients with a result of 5.6 percent or below should be treated for prediabetes. (The lower the percentage, the more serious the condition.)
The ADA has recommended that patients with a result of 8 percent or below be treated. Professional associations have recommended variously a result of 5.5 or 6 percent to justify treatment.
Zhou and other CDC researchers examined the cost of treatments stemming from test results ranging from 5.5 percent to 6.4 percent and said that the change in quality of life didn’t justify treatment for results above 5.6 percent.
Instead of treating more patients for prediabetes, the new study recommended lower-cost programs that emphasized better eating and more exercise.