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WELLNESS Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by losing weight before onset of condition

Astudy has found that people with pre-diabetes, who lose roughly 10 per cent of their body weight within six months of diagnosis, dramatically lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The findings by Johns Hopkins scientists offer patients and physicians a guide to how short-term behaviour change may affect long-term health.

“We have known for some time that the greater the weight loss, the lower your risk of diabetes,” said study leader Nisa Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Now we can see much of the benefit of losing that weight in those first six months when people are adjusting to a new way of eating and exercising. Substantial weight loss in the short term should go a long way toward preventing diabetes,” the researcher said.

Preventing pre-diabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes is critical. Uncontrolled diabetes — marked by excess sugar in the blood — can lead to eye, kidney and nerve damage, and cardiovascular disease. If people with pre-diabetes don’t lose enough weight in those first months, physicians may want to consider more aggressive treatment, such as adding a medication to push blood sugar levels lower.

The research is published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine .


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