Delay Diabetes for Four Years to Improve Long-Term Health

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People with prediabetes can lower their risk of dying and having serious health problems if they delay getting diabetes for just four years. A study by Guangwei Li and his team at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital found these results and published them in PLOS Medicine.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that can cause death and disability. It also costs a lot of money to treat. Changing your lifestyle, like eating healthy and exercising more, can help people with prediabetes avoid getting diabetes. But, until now, it wasn’t clear how long you need to delay diabetes to see these benefits.

In the study, researchers looked at 540 people with prediabetes from the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study. This study started in 1986 in Da Qing City, China, and lasted six years. The people in the study were either in a control group or in groups that ate healthy, exercised more, or did both. The researchers followed these people for more than 30 years.

The team found that people who didn’t get diabetes for at least four years had a much lower risk of dying and having heart problems, like heart attacks and strokes. This protective effect was not seen in people who stayed non-diabetic for less than four years.

Overall, the study shows that the longer you can avoid getting diabetes, the better your long-term health will be. But even delaying diabetes for a few years can have lasting benefits.

About Prediabetes and Diabetes: Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body can’t use insulin properly, leading to high blood sugar levels. This can cause serious health problems like heart disease, kidney damage, and vision loss.

Key Insights:

  • Delaying diabetes for four years can lower the risk of death and heart problems.
  • Healthy eating and exercise can help people with prediabetes avoid getting diabetes.
  • The study followed people for more than 30 years.
  • Longer delays in getting diabetes lead to better long-term health outcomes.
  • Even short delays in diabetes can provide lasting health benefits.

Source: The study was published in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine and conducted by Guangwei Li and his team at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital.


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