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In Most Older Adults, Prediabetes Stays Stable or Improves

One-third of participants progressed to diabetes or died within the 12-year follow-up

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Most older adults with prediabetes remained stable or reverted back to normal blood sugar levels during a 12-year follow-up period, according to a study published online June 4 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Ying Shang, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues used data from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care-Kungsholmen to follow 2,575 diabetes-free participants (aged ≥60 years) for up to 12 years to assess prognostic factors related to prediabetes outcomes. Diabetes was diagnosed by medical examination, antidiabetic drug use, medical records, or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥6.5 percent.

The researchers report that at baseline, more than one-third of individuals (36 percent) had prediabetes. During the study period, 22 percent of those with prediabetes reverted to normoglycemia, 13 percent developed diabetes, and 23 percent died. Rates for all three outcomes of reversion, progression, and mortality trended higher in the first six-year follow-up period than in the second six-year follow-up period. Factors associated with return to normoglycemia included lower systolic blood pressure, absence of heart diseases, and weight loss, while obesity accelerated progression to diabetes.

“The results of our study suggest that even in old age, reverting back from prediabetes to a normal blood sugar level is possible with effective weight management and blood pressure control,” Shang said in a statement.

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