Lifestyle Changes Effective in Protecting Against Type II Diabetes

Pharmacological and Lifestyle Interventions to Prevent or Delay Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Individuals with Impaired Glucose

LEICESTER, England, Jan. 19, 2007--Changing to a healthier lifestyle appears to be at least as effective as taking prescription drugs in reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, says a new BMJ study conducted by researchers in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester.

Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem – in England around 1.3 million people have diabetes and around 5% of total NHS resources are used for the care of people with diabetes.

Researchers from the University of Leicester reviewed studies involving over 8000 people which measured the effects of different interventions – lifestyle, diabetes drugs and anti-obesity drugs – on people with impaired glucose tolerance (1). They found that lifestyle changes, e.g. switching to a healthier diet and increasing exercise to be at least as effective as taking prescription drugs.  On average, lifestyle changes helped to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by around half. Lifestyle changes were also less likely to have adverse side-effects. However, the researchers say that both lifestyle changes and prescription drug taking must be sustained in order to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes.

The authors say that as global rates of Type 2 diabetes are likely to double by 2030, interventions to prevent the condition will have an important role to play in future health policies. The study findings have large implications for public health policy, however, the authors note that if lifestyle changes are to be truly effective more needs to be done to support people to adopt healthier lifestyles.

This study forms part of a larger research project on Evidence Synthesis Methods for Public Health Policy Decision Making based within the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) as part of their joint Public Health Initiative.

Professor Keith Abrams, one of the lead researchers on the project said:

‘This study shows that either adopting lifestyle changes or being prescribed appropriate medication for people with IGT significantly reduces the rate at which they will develop Type 2 diabetes. We are now investigating what the optimum screening strategy is for identifying people with IGT, and what the long term clinical and cost-effectiveness implications are of both screening and treatment.’

  

Notes to editors

People with impaired glucose tolerance have a high risk of developing type II diabetes

Contacts

Professor Keith Abrams, Professor of Medical Statistics, Centre for Biostatistics and Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

keith.abrams@le.ac.uk, tel: 0116 229 7266

Dr Kamlesh Khunti Clinical Senior Lecturer, Division of General Practice and Primary Health Care, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester.

kk22@le.ac.uk tel: 0116 258 4367

 

Ather Mirza
Director of Press and Publications
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester
LE1 7RH
tel: 0116 252 3335
email: pressoffice@le.ac.uk
Looking for an expert? Try http://www.le.ac.uk/press/experts/intro.html
 
UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
- A member of the 1994 Group of universities that share a commitment to research excellence, high quality teaching and an outstanding student experience.

England’s top ranked University for teaching quality and overall satisfaction amongst universities teaching full time students - National Student Survey 2005 and 2006
One of just 19 UK universities to feature in world’s top 200- Shanghai Jiao Tong International Index, 2005 and 2006.  Ranked as a Top 20 university by The Times Good University Guide.
Short listed Higher Education Institution of the Year - THES awards 2005 and 2006
Students’ Union of the Year award 2005, short listed 2006
Founded in 1921, the University of Leicester has 19,000 students from 120 countries. Teaching in 18 subject areas has been graded Excellent by the Quality Assurance Agency- including 14 successive scores - a consistent run of success matched by just one other UK University. Leicester is world renowned for the invention of DNA Fingerprinting by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and houses Europe's biggest academic Space Research Centre. 90% of staff are actively engaged in high quality research and 13 subject areas have been awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level. The University's research grant income places it among the top 20 UK research universities. The University employs over 3,000 people, has an annual turnover of £167.5m, covers an estate of 94 hectares and is engaged in a £300m investment programme- among the biggest of any UK university.

 

Posted: January 2007

View comments

Hide
(web4)