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09 June 2012
Aggressive pre-diabetes approach needed, say researchers
An "early and aggressive" approach to people on the cusp of developing Type 2 diabetes is justified to reduce cases of the disease, a study suggests.
People with "pre-diabetes" have higher than normal blood sugar which has not yet reached diabetic levels.
A US study, published in the Lancet, showed restoring normal sugar levels more than halved the numbers going on to Type 2 diabetes.
Experts said the findings were clinically important.
It is thought that seven million people have pre-diabetes in the UK and 79 million in the US. They are at heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Many are undiagnosed.
Some measures, such as weight loss and more exercise, can reverse pre-diabetes. The study, by the US Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, tried to determine how effective the treatment was at preventing Type 2 diabetes.
It followed 1,990 people with pre-diabetes. Some were being treated through drugs or lifestyle change, others were not.
It showed patients who reduced their blood sugar levels to normal, even briefly, were 56% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes during the six years of the study.
For more on this story see the BBC News website.