A research-proven way to slash risk
Big news for the 84 million Americans with prediabetes: The Diabetes Prevention Program—available at hundreds of YMCAs, hospitals, health centers, churches, work sites, and other locations across the country—could slash your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58 percent over three years. It’s based on a landmark 2002 study that tracked 3,234 overweight people with prediabetes. Those who exercised more, ate better, and lost 7 percent of their weight got bigger benefits than people who took a diabetes drug. Soon, Medicare will cover it, too.
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A diabetes drug that can prevent the disease
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The nation’s most widely used type 2 diabetes drug—metformin—is cheap: Generic versions cost as little as $4 (some pharmacies give away samples). Plus, it’s safe. And while the drug is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for prediabetes, research suggests it may be an alternative for people who can’t make the lifestyle changes to lower their risk of developing the disease. Metformin reduces blood sugar by boosting insulin sensitivity and depressing the amount of sugar the liver produces. A 2017 Georgetown University review showed that it cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18 percent over 15 years.