It is well established that type 2 diabetes is associated with a range of macrovascular and microvascular complications. Nor is prediabetes a benign condition – for example, it carries a two- to three-fold increased risk of cardiovascular events. 1
Prediabetes and how to recognise the condition has been discussed in an earlier Independent Nursearticle.2
What interventions could interrupt the journey from normoglycaemia through prediabetes to type 2 diabetes? There are now a number of randomised controlled trials in a variety of populations and countries that focus on lifestyle and pharmacological interventions. The individuals in these trials typically had prediabetes defined by impaired glucose tolerance (or impaired fasting glucose) – that is, they were at high risk of developing diabetes.
Lifestyle interventions are directed towards adjustment of diet, increasing physical exercise and facilitating weight loss.
Several large randomised controlled trials in a variety of countries have investigated the effect of lifestyle on prevention of type 2 diabetes in high-risk groups.
The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (FDPS) was one of the first studies to demonstrate that intensive lifestyle intervention effectively reduced the risk of developing diabetes in patients with impaired glucose tolerance.3