National Diabetes Week: Diabetes prevention is better than cure

A study from the USA has advised “aggressively” treating people who are on the cusp of developing type 2 diabetes. The research, published in the Lancet, found that by bring blood sugar levels back to normal reduced the numbers of people developing the condition by over half.

Measures to prevent the development of diabetes include weight loss and exercise. Almost 2000 people with pre-diabetes were studied and treated using a variety of measures including drugs and lifestyle changes. Those patients who successfully lowered their blood sugar levels to normal, even for a short while, were 56% less like to develop type 2 diabetes than those who were not receiving treatment.

It is thought that the findings could lead to a stratification of risk according to their ability to regulate their glucose levels. There are currently estimated to be seven million people in the UK at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

New imaging techniques have been developed to assess the risk of heart disease in patients with diabetes as early treatments have been found to be significantly more effective than treatment once the condition has become symptomatic.

A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
A disorder caused by insufficient or absent production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, or because the tissues are resistant to the effects. Full medical glossary
A simple sugar that is an important source of energy in the body. Full medical glossary
The death of a section of heart muscle caused by an interruption in its blood supply. Also called a myocardial infarction. Full medical glossary
septic arthritis Full medical glossary
Any sudden neurological problem caused by a bleed or a clot in a blood vessel. Full medical glossary