Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes Prevention

  • Primary prevention of diabetes is effective and urgently needed in India to curb the rising burden of diabetes.1 It is appropriate that the Indian Government has initiated a national program for the management and prevention of diabetes and related metabolic disorders.1
  • Three-year results from the Indian-Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) suggest that both metformin and lifestyle are cost-effective for preventing diabetes among those with prediabetes in Indians.
  • Lifestyle intervention has been found to be a highly effective, safe, and cost-effective method for the prevention of diabetes in high-risk persons, the benefit of which can extend for many years. 2
  • Among the pharmacologic agents studied for prevention of diabetes, metformin has been found to be the safest. Interventions using drugs are less preferred because the drugs’ effects tend to dissipate after their use is stopped and no medication is totally free of cost and side effects. 2
  • 150 min/wk of physical activity, such as walking, along with a weight loss of 5-7%, reduces the risk of progressing from impaired glucose tolerance (prediabetes) to diabetes by 58% (see Diabetes and Exercise).3
  • Optimal levels of five  modifiable risk factors (normal weight, no smoking, regular physical activity,  low-risk dietary score and moderate alcohol consumption)   are each  associated with 16% to  37% lower risk of developing diabetes. Men and women with all of the examined factors in the low-risk category had a 72% and 84% lower odds for developing diabetes, respectively. The dietary score was calculated based on the intake of polyunsaturated and saturated fats, fiber, and the glycemic index of various foods.4


 1. Ramachandran A, Snehalatha C. Current scenario of diabetes in India. J Diabetes. Mar 2009;1(1):18-28.

2. Ramachandran A, Snehalatha C. Diabetes prevention programs. Med Clin North Am. Mar 2011;95(2):353-372.

3. Sigal RJ, Kenny GP, Wasserman DH, Castaneda-Sceppa C, White RD. Physical activity/exercise and type 2 diabetes: a consensus statement from the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. Jun 2006;29(6):1433-1438.

4. Reis JP, Loria CM, Sorlie PD, Park Y, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A. Lifestyle factors and risk for new-onset diabetes: a population-based cohort study. Ann Intern Med. Sep 6 2011;155(5):292-299.

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