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Drug could help prevent Type 2 diabetes

A drug known as Avandia could help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to research presented today at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Copenhagan.

Over 5,000 people with either impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose took part in the trials. Approximately half were given the drug along with advice on lifestyle changes. Half were given a placebo and the same lifestyle advice.   

The results showed that the risk of developing diabetes was reduced by two thirds in those who were given the drug.

“These results are interesting, but it would be wrong to assume that we can solve the spread of the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes by taking a tablet," said Cathy Moulton, Care Advisor for Diabetes UK.

“Studies in the US and Finland have shown that small lifestyle changes are effective in delaying or preventing Type 2 diabetes.  We already strongly recommend that people at risk should be incorporating increased levels of physical activity into their daily lives along with managing their weight. 

“Our ‘Measure Up’ campaign urges the nation to measure their waists, a simple test to help identify those at risk of diabetes.

“Further research may show that the use of this drug will be of value to certain individuals.”

Studies have shown that:

  • losing weight can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes developing by 58 per cent
  • physical activity can reduce the risk by 64 per cent.

The findings also appeared online today in The Lancet medical journal.



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