July 12, 2024

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Nature: Lifestyle Interventions Effectively Prevent Diabetes

Nature: Lifestyle Interventions Effectively Prevent Diabetes



Nature: Lifestyle Interventions Effectively Prevent Diabetes

The prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related mortality continues to rise in most parts of the world. By 2030, the global adult diabetic population is expected to reach 578 million, constituting 10% of the global adult population. Urgent measures based on the population are therefore needed to prevent diabetes, enhance early detection, and address cardiovascular risk factors to prevent or delay related complications.

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for over 90% of diabetes cases, is potentially preventable, with lifestyle behavior change programs considered a method to improve the health of those at high risk of diabetes. A U.S. study suggests that, in principle, this approach is more effective in preventing or delaying diabetes than taking metformin. However, in real-world environments with limited resources compared to clinical research, evidence of its success is limited.

On November 15, 2023, researchers from Heidelberg University Hospital, Stanford University, Gottingen University, Oxford University, Birmingham University, and other institutions collaborated on a study published in the journal Nature titled “Quasi-experimental evaluation of a nationwide diabetes prevention programme.”

The study demonstrates that a nationwide lifestyle change program can bring about significant health improvements for individuals at risk of diabetes. These findings, based on the evaluation of the National Health Service (NHS) diabetes prevention program in the UK, provide causal evidence that lifestyle changes are a viable strategy for diabetes prevention.

Nature: Lifestyle Interventions Effectively Prevent Diabetes

Health behaviors, especially those related to nutrition and exercise, play a crucial role in the development of type 2 diabetes. While behavior change programs (also known as lifestyle interventions) have been found effective in preventing type 2 diabetes in controlled clinical trials, there is still controversy over whether individual-level health behaviors are an effective prevention strategy for type 2 diabetes. Clinicians also question whether lifestyle advice and counseling provided by routine healthcare systems can improve health.

In this study, the research team showcased the world’s largest pre-diabetes behavior change program, the UK Diabetes Prevention Program, and its effectiveness in improving key cardiovascular risk factors, including glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), overweight, and lipid levels.

Specifically, the research team evaluated the effectiveness of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Program, a large-scale intervention program with weight loss, diet, and physical activity goals. The program included a minimum of 13 group sessions over nine months, open to patients whose blood sugar levels reached specific thresholds.

Data analysis of 2 million patients showed a decrease in blood sugar levels, body mass index (BMI), weight, and specific lipid levels after the intervention. For example, the average BMI decreased by 1.35 kg/m2, and average weight decreased by 2.99 kg. These health improvements have the potential to slow the progression of diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.

In conclusion, the research team suggests that these findings indicate the health benefits of lifestyle change programs can be realized through routine healthcare institutions.

Nature: Lifestyle Interventions Effectively Prevent Diabetes

(source:internet, reference only)


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