Diabetes prevention strategies may be working well as data from a new study suggests rates of the condition are slowly dropping in some countries.
After reviewing evidence, researchers found many countries across the globe are seeing a slow decline in the number of type 2 diabetes cases since 2005.
The goal of the study was to review the evidence on diabetes incidence trends.Professors Dianna Magliano and Jonathan Shaw, from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, conducted the study by investigating he incidence of type 2 diabetes in more than 100 populations, between 1970-2014, in mainly high-income countries.
The results showed that while diabetes incidence increased consistently until 2005, the number of new cases has been generally stable or falling since then. Even though diabetes incidence was found to increase until 2005, the number of new cases after that was either stable or dropped.
However, the team point out more research is needed to back up their findings as the data was limited. They were also unable to analyse certain age groups and different sex.
However, the findings do suggest preventative measures could be key to improving public health. The team suggests that preventive strategies and public health education and awareness campaigns “could have contributed to this flattening of rates, suggesting that worldwide efforts to curb the diabetes epidemic over the past decade might have been effective”.
The team also says more strategies need to be implemented despite the decline in diabetes cases. “This work tells us [we have to] be cautiously optimistic about the global diabetes epidemic and we should continue implementing strategies for diabetes prevention to ensure incidence does not increase again,” authors of the study told a news portal.
For Dr Emily Burns, head of research communications at Diabetes UK, the findings look“promising”.
Burns told a news portal: “This study looks at Type 2 diabetes through a different lens, reporting on the number diagnosed rather than the number living with the condition – which can often be distorted by factors such as how long people live for.
“With this in mind, it’s promising to see that the number of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes might potentially be plateauing in certain parts of the world.”
However, Louise McCombie at the University of Glasgow warns the falling rates could be deceptive and told a news portal “several potentially confounding factors could further complicate interpretation of the reported trends”.
The study's findings were originally published in the BMJ.
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