Leading a healthy lifestyle can help stave off or lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in high risk people, say researchers.
Lead researcher Dr Jill Crandall, associate professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has shown that intensive lifestyle changes i.e. modest weight loss coupled with increased physical activity reduced the rate for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent.
The study showed that sustaining modest weight loss for 10 years, or taking an anti-diabetic drug over that time, can prevent or lower the incidence of diabetes. During the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), all were overweight or obese adults with elevated blood glucose levels.
After three years, the results showed that rigorous lifestyle changes reduced the rate for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent compared with placebo, while oral diabetes drug metformin reduced the rate of developing diabetes by 31 per cent compared with placebo. Over the period of 10 years, the diabetes incidence in the lifestyle group was reduced by 34 per cent.
"The fact that we've continued to delay and possibly even prevent diabetes in people at very high risk for developing the disease is certainly a positive finding," The Lancet quoted Dr Crandall as saying.