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Lifestyle Changes Can Keep Diabetes at Bay for 14 Years
Date:5/22/2008

Among people at high risk, healthy eating and exercise can delay disease, researchers say

THURSDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Diet and exercise programs for people at high risk for developing diabetes, when followed for six years, can actually delay the development of diabetes for 14 years after the programs end, a new report finds.

The report is published in the May 24 special diabetes issue of The Lancet.

In another study in the same journal issue, Chinese researchers found that intensive therapy with insulin in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes can help restore the cells in the body that produce insulin, and thereby restore blood sugar balance.

"Early intensive insulin therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes has favorable outcomes on recovery and maintenance of B-cell function and prolonged glycemic remission compared with treatment with oral hypoglycemic agents," the researchers concluded.

In terms of the lifestyle study, a series of trials around the world have shown lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can reduce cases of diabetes in people with high blood sugar levels. However, whether these gains remain over an extended period isn't clear, researchers said.

"When you do lifestyle interventions in communities, it seems to have a durability beyond the life of the intervention itself, which is very encouraging," said co-author Edward Gregg, branch chief of the Epidemiology and Statistical Branch in the Division of Diabetes Translation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the trial, called the China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Outcome Study, 577 adults with high blood sugar levels, at risk for developing diabetes, from 33 clinics in China, were randomly assigned to one of three lifestyle intervention groups. One group relied on diet, a second group on exercise and a third on a combination of diet and exercise. In additio
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