Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes

The British Medical Journal has published an analysis of the growing pressure to prevent diabetes with medication. The BBC also reported this analysis.

The analysis pays particular attention to the DREAM Study, which has previously been discussed in detail. The conclusion made in this post was that, "based on current evidence the benefits of drug intervention do not outweigh the risks of treatment".

This analysis argues that using drugs to prevent diabetes will bring harms and additional costs while the benefits for patients remain questionable. It is further argued that lifestyle changes including weight loss, eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetes and are much safer.

Action: Clinicians should advise patients to make lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. Clinical use of hypoglycaemic agents to prevent diabetes is not justified based on the current efficacy and safety data.

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