Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Strategies: Are we doing enough?

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Effective interventions to prevent, delay, or remit diabetes are currently available. However, their impact on the prevalence of diabetes at the population level is unknown. This study aimed to estimate the impact of a range of diabetes interventions on the population prevalence of diabetes for Australian adults between 2010 and 2025.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

We used the Australian Diabetes Projection Model to estimate the impact of a population-wide strategy, high-risk prevention, surgical diabetes treatment, and a combination strategy on the future population prevalence of diabetes and to estimate the number of diabetes cases that could be potentially prevented in the year 2025.

RESULTS

We estimate that a population-wide strategy would reduce the number of diabetes cases by 60,000–85,000 in 2025 from an estimated 2 million cases under the status quo scenario. A high-risk prevention strategy would result in 106,000 to 150,000 fewer cases of diabetes in 2025, and surgically induced weight loss would result in 3,000–6,000 fewer cases. No single intervention, or combination of interventions, reversed the increasing trend in diabetes prevalence over the next 15 years.

CONCLUSIONS

To reverse upward trends in diabetes prevalence in future years, it is essential that current approaches to diabetes prevention and treatment are optimized and implemented and that alternative approaches to reduce the prevalence of diabetes at a population level are developed.

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