Lifestyle as important as drugs in type-2 diabetes

Lifestyle interventions may be just as effective as drug therapy at preventing type-2 diabetes in patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), research suggests.

Follow-up data from the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study showed that a four-year intensive lifestyle intervention reduced the risk of type-2 diabetes by 43 per cent, even three years after intervention had ended. During active intervention, the risk of type-2 diabetes was cut by 58 per cent, said the research at Lancet Online.

This contrasts with data from the DREAM study, released in September, which showed that 8 mg daily rosiglitazone for three years in addition to lifestyle interventions reduced the risk of patients with IGT or impaired fasting glucose transferring to type-2 diabetes by 60 per cent.

Chairman of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, County Down GP Dr Colin Kenny, said: ‘Exercise intervention is a more effective intervention and more acceptable regarding side effects.  However, he added that ‘the intervention is really quite intensive, it would be much harder to transfer into the NHS.’

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