Diabetes Prevention A Good Investment

NIH Research Matters: April 2, 2012.

A new study found that programs to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes make sound economic sense.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. It’s the main cause of kidney failure, limb amputations and new-onset blindness in adults nationwide. It’s also a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Diabetes costs the nation an estimated $174 billion per year, including $116 billion in direct medical costs and $58 billion in indirect costs like disability and work loss.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95% of diabetes cases. In 2002, the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) clinical trial compared approaches to prevent diabetes in adults at high risk for the disease. This NIH-led study enrolled over 3,000 overweight or obese adults with blood sugar levels higher than normal but below the threshold for diabetes. The participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups. One received a lifestyle intervention aimed at a 7% weight loss and 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity. Another group received the oral diabetes drug metformin. The last received placebo pills. Read More