Diet and exercise sharply reduce risk of adult-onset diabetes

המידע באדיבות medicontext.co.il
Last Updated: 2001-08-08 17:48:49 EDT (Reuters Health)

By Ori Twersky

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) – Americans at risk of developing type 2 diabetes can sharply reduce the odds through a regular regimen of diet and exercise, according to data from the nation's first major clinical trial to compare the preventive effects of diet and exercise versus medication.

Results from the Diabetes Prevention Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, showed that at-risk people who exercised at least 30 minutes per day reduced their risk of diabetes by 58%, even without medication.

Study participants who used metformin (Glucophage, Bristol-Myers Squibb) without diet and exercise also reduced their risk, by 31%.

"In view of the rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in America, this good news couldn't have come at a better time," said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, at a press conference held to announce the findings. "So many of our health problems can be avoided through diet, exercise and making sure we take care of ourselves," he said.

Other experts agreed. "I think common sense would have dictated this," Dr. William Crowley, a professor of medicine at Harvard University and president of The Endocrine Society, told Reuters Health. "But on the other hand, this hypothesis has not been studied in the American population. So, this really is a landmark."

The Diabetes Prevention Program was conducted at 27 centers nationwide and involved more than 3000 participants. Participants ranged in age from 25 to 85 and generally sustained a 5% weight loss throughout the 3-year study.

Lead investigator Dr. David Nathan cautioned that the trial results don't show "how long, beyond the 3-year period studied, diabetes can be delayed." But overall, he said, the lifestyle changes worked as well in men and women of all age groups, while drug therapy appeared to be relatively ineffective in older people and those less overweight.

Representatives from Bristol-Myers Squibb could not be reached for immediate comment.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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