Sweden: Most older adults who have prediabetes may remain stable or may return back to normal blood sugar levels — shows result from a 12-year long study. In the study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, only one‐third developed diabetes or died.
The reversion to normal blood sugar levels (normoglycaemia) may be promoted by lower blood pressure (BP), weight management, and absence of any heart disease. The findings may suggest possible strategies for achieving normoglycaemia in older adults with prediabetes.
Prediabetes is an asymptomatic condition that precedes type 2 diabetes. It is characterized by hyperglycaemia i.e high blood sugar, which is lower than the level needed for clinical diagnosis of diabetes but is higher than normal levels.
Ying Shang, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted the study to assess the rate at which prediabetes progresses to diabetes, leads to death or reverts to normal blood sugar levels (normoglycaemia) in older adults and to identify prognostic factors related to different outcomes of prediabetes.
For the purpose, they followed 2,575 diabetes-free participants (aged ≥60 years) from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care-Kungsholmen for up to 12 years. Diabetes was diagnosed by medical examination, antidiabetic drug use, medical records, or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥6.5 percent.
Key findings of the study include:
- More than one-third of individuals (36 percent) had prediabetes.
- During the study period, 22 percent of those with prediabetes reverted to normoglycemia, 13 percent developed diabetes, and 23 percent died.
- Rates for all three outcomes of reversion, progression, and mortality trended higher in the first six-year follow-up period than in the second six-year follow-up period.
- Factors associated with return to normoglycemia included lower systolic blood pressure, absence of heart diseases, and weight loss, while obesity accelerated progression to diabetes.
“Our findings may help to identify people at high risk of progressing to diabetes and suggests possible strategies for achieving normoglycaemia in older adults with prediabetes,” concluded the authors.
To read the complete study follow the link: https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12920