Norfolk study shows how to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study team when the 10,000 participant was recruited. Picture: NDPS

The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study team when the 10,000 participant was recruited. Picture: NDPS - Credit: Archant

A new study led by Norfolk specialists has proven how weight loss can nearly half the risk of diabetes, in one of the largest prevention research study in the world in the last 30 years.

The findings by the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study (NDPS) have been brought together after eight years of research which has looked at how small changes to lifestyle, diet and physical activity could reduce the risk of developing type two diabetes.

Experts from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, University of East Anglia, along with members of Ipswich hospital and the universities of Birmingham and Exeter, led a trial involving more than 1,000 people with prediabetes, who were at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The study screened 13,000 people for prediabetes, before taking 1,000 people on to the programme.

The study found that changes, including losing two to three kilograms of weight and increased physical activity over two years, reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 40 to 47 per cent for those categorised as having prediabetes.

Leaders of the research says the findings could help eight million people living in the UK with a prediabetes diagnosis.

Professor Mike Sampson, NDPS chief investigator and consultant in diabetes at NNUH, said: “We have now shown a significant effect in Type 2 diabetes prevention, and we can be very optimistic that even a modest weight loss, and an increase in physical activity, in real world programmes like this have a big effect on the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

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“This is really great news for the eight million people in the UK with a prediabetes diagnosis.”

Max Bachmann, NDPS co-investigator and professor of health services research at UEA, said: “For every 11 people who received the NDPS intervention, one person was prevented from getting Type 2 diabetes, which is a real breakthrough.”

The work has been published in the international journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, said the research could help reduce the risk of those at high risk from developing Type 2 tiabetes.

She said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, but with the right help many cases can be prevented or delayed.”