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Hope for diabetes incidence reduction

Monday September 16th, 2019

Annual incidence of type 2 diabetes may have peaked following increasing efforts to tackle obesity and unhealthy eating, a conference heard today.

In the last 50 years incidence has doubled – but there are signs that incidence rates may be falling in high income countries, according to the findings.

Australian researchers reported their analysis of 40 years of incidence studies to the conference of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain.

The researchers found an incidence rate of 0.53% in the 1970s rising to 1% this decade.

But in the last ten years studies point to a 5% reduction in incidence rates over the last decade – although this has not reached statistical significance, the researchers say.

Led by Professor Dianna Magliano, of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia, say: "If these trends continue, it may mean that incidence is starting to stabilise and this could indicate that prevention and public health activities may have had an effect.

"Lower levels of screening for diabetes may have played a role, and it is also possible that depletion of susceptible people may be involved. In reality, it is probably a combination of all these factors."

* A Danish study, reported to the conference, suggests that obesity is linked to a six times increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

There may also be genetic and other lifestyle factors, the researchers say.

The conclusions come from statistical analysis of nearly 10,000 people taking part in a Danish health study.

Led by Hermina Jakupovi, of the University of Copenhagen, the researchers write: "The effect of obesity on type 2 diabetes risk is dominant over other risk factors, highlighting the importance of weight management in type 2 diabetes prevention."

Abstract: Diabetes incidence over time: a systematic review

Abstract: Obesity and unfavourable lifestyle increase type 2 diabetes-risk independent of genetic predisposition.

Tags: Diabetes | Diet & Food | Europe | Fitness

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