Research and studies


Is type 2 diabetes preventable? What the evidence-based guidelines say

Diabetes is the commonest non-communicable disease worldwide. Researchers predict it will increase by around 160% by the year 2025. Sadly, most of this increase will occur in developing countries, which have the least resources to deal with the problem. Even in the most developed countries, health systems are struggling to meet demands for services. In recent years, this has led to a strong focus on prevention research.

Diabetes research caught in the European spotlight

It all started in 1996, when the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) published a document entitled 'European Dimension of Diabetes Research'. Since then, enormous progress has been made towards a greater recognition of the relevance of diabetes research at European Union level.

Towards a new approach to lipid disorders in diabetes: the Heart Protection Study

The benefits of cholesterol-lowering therapy in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) for people with diabetes and high cholesterol levels had already been suggested by sub-group analysis of some earlier studies. However, there was still substantial uncertainty as to what extent cholesterol-lowering therapy could

DEHKO: Finland moves on primary prevention

In January 2000, the Development Programme for the Prevention and Care of Diabetes 2000-2010 (DEHKO) was officially approved as Finland's national diabetes programme. The first audit of the programme in 2003 has reported that the implementation process is well underway in both primary and specialized healthcare. The atmosphere among healthcare providers is positive and enthusiastic, and the word DEHKO is now firmly established in the lexicon of diabetes care in Finland.

Successful multiple risk factor intervention in type 2 diabetes: the Steno-2 triumph

Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) between two- and six-fold, and shortens life expectancy by 5 to 10 years. Once a person with diabetes has developed severe vascular complications, they will

Clinical trials confirm that type 2 diabetes is preventable

Until recently, randomized clinical trials offered only limited proof that Type 2 diabetes is preventable by changes in lifestyle. Fortunately, this gap has now been filled. Several major lifestyle intervention trials have been successfully completed. The results are consistent: the risk of Type 2 diabetes can be halved in people who are at high risk; the effect of lifestyle change is rapid; the lifestyle changes required to achieve a significant risk reduction do not have to be drastic; and benefits are similar in different ethnic groups.

Fetal origins of diabetes in developing countries

There is a rapidly rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes throughout the world. It is particularly severe in developing countries. In 1995, 62% of people with diabetes in the world lived in developing countries. By 2025 this is predicted to rise to more than 75%. In India there are an estimated 25 million people with diabetes, and this will rise to more than 60 million by 2025. One in five people with diabetes in the world will then be Indian. A parallel rise in ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is also projected. Other developing countries will be similarly affected.

Understanding diabetes: the genetics

In most people who develop diabetes there is a hereditary (genetic) component. However, in nearly all cases the genetic component alone does not cause the diabetes, but interactions with the environment of a person who is genetically susceptible. This is clearly demonstrated by the epidemic of diabetes worldwide. The dramatic increase in figures clearly cannot be accounted for by genetic factors. However, without the genetic susceptibility modern lifestyle changes would have no fertile field on which to exert their dangerous influences.

Diabetic eye disease: how you can watch out for it

Among the most feared diabetes complications are those affecting the eyes. Indeed, diabetes is the leading cause of partial vision loss and blindness in the working age population in many countries. The good news is that it does not have to be so.

Lighting up diabetes in the Asian young: the ASDIAB study

Diabetes is increasing in epidemic proportions worldwide. The number of people with diabetes is currently estimated to amount to nearly 180 million in the over 140 IDF member countries. While a relatively large number of studies have so far been carried out into the causes and development of diabetes mellitus in the Caucasian populations, up until recently, data on the aetiology and pathogenesis of the condition in the Asian population was still relatively scarce. The Asian Young Diabetes (ASDIAB) Study, the most significant results of which are revealed below, was intended to fill this gap.