According to research, individuals with pre-diabetes are considerably more unlikely to get diabetes if they normalize their blood glucose levels in time.
The research reveals that people at a high risk for Type 2 diabetes that experience a phase of normal glucose regulation are 56% more unlikely to develop diabetes 10 years later.
It was estimated in 2011 by the CDC that 35% of the population have pre-diabetes. Each year, about 11% continue on to develop diabetes, fueling the Type 2 diabetes epidemic. Re thinking prevention methods in this group is crucial to lowering overall disease rates.
The researchers made use of results from the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, research that examined long term outcomes in over 3,000 pre-diabetes patients. Standard pre-diabetes tests are the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) and the Fasting Plasma Glucose test (FPG).
Previous analyses of the study data indicated that lifestyle intervention as well as medication is able to reduce the development of diabetes from pre-diabetes. The current study examines participants who not merely avoided getting diabetes, but also managed to revert back to normal glucose function sometime during the study.
These patients had a reduction of 56% in progression to diabetes, irrespective of the way they reverted to normal glucose regulation regardless if it was only temporary.
The implications are important for people considering diabetes reduction strategies who may now want to change the standard of care to earlier and more aggressive glucose lowering treatments.
Interventions that merely manage pre-diabetes, even where diabetes is avoided short-term, aren’t enough because the long-term risk remains. Strategies should look at achieving normal glucose regulation, through any means and however temporary, to make sure people with pre-diabetes have the greatest reduction of risk of diabetes.