To quantify the effectiveness of pharmacological and lifestyle interventions to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance.Data sources
Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane library searched up to July 2006. Expert opinions sought and reference lists of identified studies and any relevant published reviews checked.Study selection
Randomised controlled trials that evaluated interventions to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance.Results
21 trials met the inclusion criteria, of which 17, with 8084 participants with impaired glucose tolerance, reported results in enough detail for inclusion in the meta-analyses. From the meta-analyses the pooled hazard ratios were 0.51 (95% confidence interval 0.44 to 0.60) for lifestyle interventions v standard advice, 0.70 (0.62 to 0.79) for oral diabetes drugs v control, 0.44 (0.28 to 0.69) for orlistat v control, and 0.32 (0.03 to 3.07) for the herbal remedy jiangtang bushen recipe v standard diabetes advice. These correspond to numbers needed to treat for benefit (NNTB) and harm (NNTH) of 6.4 for lifestyle (95% credible interval, NNTB 5.0 to NNTB 8.4), 10.8 for oral diabetes drugs (NNTB 8.1 to NNTB 15.0), 5.4 for orlistat (NNTB 4.1 to NNTB 7.6), and 4.0 for jiangtang bushen (NNTH 16.9 to NNTB 24.8).Conclusions
Lifestyle and pharmacological interventions reduce the rate of progression to type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance. Lifestyle interventions seem to be at least as effective as drug treatment.