February 6, 2002
PHONE: 410-955-1534
E-MAIL: kblum@jhmi.edu

Diet, Exercise Delay Onset of Type 2 Diabetes
Hopkins Expert Available to Discuss Results of Diabetes Prevention Program

Millions of Americans at high risk for type 2 diabetes can dramatically lower their chances of getting the disease through diet and exercise, according to a nationwide study at Johns Hopkins and 26 other medical centers.

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the Diabetes Prevention Program found that a large group of overweight people with impaired glucose tolerance, a precursor of diabetes, assigned to intensive diet and exercise interventions were able to reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. The study also showed that treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin reduced the group's diabetes risk by 31 percent. Results are published in the Feb. 7 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"This is the first major trial to show that diet and exercise can effectively delay diabetes in a diverse American population," says Christopher D. Saudek, M.D., director of The Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center and president of the American Diabetes Association. "Of the 3,234 study participants nationwide, 45 percent were from minority groups that suffer disproportionately from type 2 diabetes - African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians."

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 8 percent of American adults. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age – even during childhood. Being overweight and inactive can increase the chances of developing the condition.

Initial results of the study were presented Aug. 8, 2001, at a press conference in Washington.

To interview Saudek, please contact me at 410-955-1534 or kblum@jhmi.edu

For more information on the Diabetes Prevention Program, visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases Web site at http://www.niddk.nih.gov.

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