(HealthDay News) – Patients with prediabetes who achieve normal glucose regulation have a lower risk of developing diabetes.

Leigh Perreault, MD, from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues calculated the diabetes cumulative incidence for 1,990 participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS; an observation study of participants from the randomized Diabetes Prevention Program [DPP]). Participants from the DPP, with normal glucose regulation or prediabetes status, who were randomly assigned to treatment groups (736 intensive lifestyle intervention, 647 metformin, and 607 placebo) were included in the analysis.

During a median follow-up of 5.7 years, the researchers found that DPP participants who had returned to normal glucose regulation had a significantly lower diabetes risk during DPPOS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.44). This risk was unaffected by previous treatment group assignment. The likelihood of achieving normal glucose regulation in DPPOS correlated with previous achievement of normal glucose regulation (odds ratio [OR], 3.18), increased β-cell function (OR, 1.28), and insulin sensitivity (OR, 1.16). For the prediction of diabetes, increased β-cell function and insulin sensitivity had a protective effect (HR, 0.80 and 0.83, respectively). For participants in DPP who did not return to normal glucose regulation, the risk of diabetes was higher (HR, 1.31) and the chance of normal glucose regulation lower (OR, 0.59) in those assigned to intensive lifestyle intervention than those in the placebo group.

“Prediabetes is a high-risk state for diabetes, especially in patients who remain with prediabetes despite intensive lifestyle intervention,” the authors write.

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