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Drug cuts diabetes risk 'by 80 per cent'

Press Association logoPress Association 23/02/2017

A drug that reduces blood sugar and promotes weight loss can cut the chances of at-risk patients developing type-2 diabetes, research shows.

An international trial found treatment with liraglutide, which interacts with brain regions that control appetite and energy intake, had a dramatic effect on diabetes risk in obese and "pre-diabetes" patients on the way to becoming chronically diabetic.

One in 10 of the UK population is thought to have pre-diabetes, a metabolic condition closely tied to obesity.

Study participants were randomly given either liraglutide or a placebo drug injected under the skin once a day for three years.

They were also placed on a reduced-kilojoule diet and advised to take more exercise.

Compared with the placebo group, patients receiving the genuine treatment were 80 per cent less likely to go on to develop type-2 diabetes.

"On the basis of our findings, liraglutide ... can provide us with a new therapeutic approach for patients with obesity and pre-diabetes to substantially reduce their risk of developing type-2 diabetes and its related complications," trial leader professor John Wilding said.

Findings from the scale study, which recruited 2254 adults with pre-diabetes in 27 countries worldwide, were published in The Lancet medical journal.

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