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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Prediabetes vision

Diabetes UK, the UK charity for people with diabetes, has published a position statement the reveals several care recommendations for prediabetes.

The statement acknowledges the current method of diagnosis of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). A new term, impaired glucose regulation (IGR) or non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (NDH) is recommended to describe presence of these conditions (exclusively or jointly) by healthcare professionals. It is recognised that the term prediabetes may be more appropriate when communicating with the public.

The statement supports current Government plans (England only) to screen more widely for IGR and recommends appropriate lifestyle interventions to prevent or delay progression to diabetes. Weight reduction, changes in dietary habits and increased physical activity are recommended intervention strategies.

Pharmacological interventions are not recommended to slow progression to diabetes as there are no therapies currently approved or licensed for this use in the UK. It is noted that weight loss medications and bariatric surgery may play a role in the management of obese patients with IGR.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this statement. Lifestyle interventions and patient education are the mainstay of any treatments aimed at halting progression to diabetes.

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