Drug prevents Type 2 diabetes in 70pc of high-risk individuals

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 08:40 hrs

U.S. scientists have reported that a pill taken once a day in the morning prevented type 2 diabetes in more than 70 percent of individuals whose obesity, ethnicity and other markers put them at highest risk for the disease.

The team also noted a 31 percent decrease in the rate of thickening of the carotid artery, the major vessel that supplies blood to the brain.

The study, which enrolled 602 participants through The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and seven collaborating centers, has direct implications for the care of 40 million Americans who are pre-diabetic.

"It's a blockbuster study," said senior author Ralph DeFronzo, professor in the School of Medicine and chief of the diabetes division at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. "

The 72 percent reduction is the largest decrease in the conversion rate of pre-diabetes to diabetes that has ever been demonstrated by any intervention, be it diet, exercise or medication."

Dr. DeFronzo led the trial of pioglitazone, which is marketed as Actos by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The Japanese company provided an independent investigator grant to Dr. DeFronzo to conduct the ACT Now study.

The study has been described in the New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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