TUESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Preventing type 2 diabetes not only improves an individual's quality of life, it also saves quite a bit of money.
By treating people who were at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, researchers reduced medical costs by $2,600 for each person enrolled in a lifestyle changes group, and by $1,500 for each of those taking the diabetes drug metformin over the course of 10 years.
But when the savings in medical care were balanced against the costs of the interventions, metformin saved $30 over 10 years, while the lifestyle intervention cost $1,700 over the same time span.
"Compared to doing nothing to prevent type 2 diabetes, metformin is cost-saving as an intervention. Lifestyle intervention, though not cost-saving, is cost-effective," Dr. William Herman, a study author and professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, told an American Diabetes Association (ADA) press conference.
Herman noted that during the 10-year study follow-up, lifestyle intervention reduced the rate of diabetes by 34 percent, while metformin reduced the rate of type 2 diabetes by 18 percent.
Herman was scheduled to present the study's findings on Tuesday at the ADA's Scientific Sessions in San Diego.
The data for this study came from the Diabetes Prevention Program, which included more than 3,000 people who were at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They were all overweight and were considered to have pre-diabetes. They also had additional risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
The participants were randomly placed into one of three groups: lifestyle intervention, metformin treatment or placebo pills.
The lifestyle intervention group received one-on-one training in diet, exercise and behavioral modification. The goal was to lose 7 percent of body weight and to exercise at least 150 minutes a w
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