Sustaining modest weight loss for 10 years, or taking an anti-diabetic drug over that time, can prevent or lower the incidence of type 2 diabetes in people at high risk for developing the disease, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS), a long-term follow-up to a landmark 2001 diabetes prevention study.
Jill Crandall, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, was a principal investigator in the follow-up study, which appears online in the current edition of the British medical journal the Lancet.
The original study ─ the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) ─ was a large, randomized trial involving 3,234 people at high risk for developing diabetes. At the start of the study, all were overweight or obese adults with elevated blood glucose levels. Researchers disclosed the findings from DPP in 2001 ─ a year earlier than scheduled ─ because results were so clear. After three years, intensive lifestyle changes (modest weight loss coupled with increased physical activity) reduced the rate for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent compared with placebo. The oral diabetes drug metformin (850 milligrams twice daily) reduced the rate of developing diabetes by 31 percent compared with placebo.
Since these striking results were based on just three years of data, researchers could not determine how long the benefits would last. Following a seven-month bridge period after the original study ended, the follow-up DPPOS began, with 88 percent of DPP volunteers taking part. During the study pause, all participants learned the results and were offered 16 education sessions on making intensive lifestyle changes. The latest results, reflecting a full decade of participation ─ three in the DPP study and seven in DPPOS ─ indicate that lifestyle interventions producing even modest weight loss can significantly help
|Contact: Deirdre Branley|
Albert Einstein College of Medicine