July 24, 2008

Experts: Pre-Diabetes Must Be Treated

Intensive lifestyle management is recommended to prevent pre-diabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes, a U.S. group of diabetes experts said.

Pre-diabetes, a condition defined by elevated fasting glucose levels or impaired glucose tolerance, increases risk not only for developing type 2 diabetes, but cardiovascular complications.

Currently, there are no pharmacologic therapies that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.

The consensus statement, released by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, calls for patients to adhere to the lifestyle guidelines set forth in the Diabetes Prevention Program, established by the U.S. government.

The second approach is to prevent the development of cardiovascular complications, and to help those patients where lifestyle modifications have been insufficient to modify cardiovascular risk factors via medications for abnormal blood pressure and cholesterol independent of glucose control medications.

Lifestyle modifications include: losing up to 10 percent of body weight, getting regular exercise for most of the week, eating a healthy low-fat diet, lowering blood pressure and taking aspirin if prescribed.

The final document is scheduled to be published later this year in Endocrine Practice.