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Lifestyle Changes Cut Type 2 Diabetes in High-Risk People

Intense diet and exercise counseling cuts transition to type 2 diabetes in overweight subjects

THURSDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive diet and exercise counseling can reduce disease incidence for patients at high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, even long after counseling is discontinued, according to results from an extended follow-up the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study published in the Nov. 11 issue of The Lancet.

Jaana Lindstrom, M.Sc., of the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues randomly assigned 522 overweight men and women with impaired glucose tolerance to intensive lifestyle intervention or a control group to see whether these changes could reduce risk of progression to type 2 diabetes.

After a mean follow-up of seven years, incidence of type 2 diabetes was 4.3 per 100 person-years for the intervention group and 7.4 per 100 person-years for the control group. The success of the program was linked to weight loss, increased physical activity, reduced saturated fat and increased fiber intake.

"The evidence for sustainability of lifestyle benefit presented by the [study] investigators supports their argument for urgent widespread establishment of community-based diabetes prevention programs," Ronald Goldberg, M.D., of the University of Miami, writes in an accompanying editorial.

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