Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pre-diabetes must be treated, doctors urge

Diabetes experts created the first recommendations Tuesday for the treatment of people with pre-diabetes in the hopes of curbing the diabetes epidemic. There are now no solid guidelines for diagnosing and managing pre-diabetes, a condition in which a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

If physicians do not recognize and treat pre-diabetes, diabetes will continue to inflate at great personal health and financial cost, says Daniel Einhorn, vice president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The group is meeting in Oxon Hill, Md., near Washington, D.C.

In an early release of the new recommendations, members of the endocrinologist group agreed that diagnosing pre-diabetes should be based on more than the results of blood glucose tests, such as history of diabetes during pregnancy and family history of the disease. The group also decided that changes in ways of living, not medication, should be the first line of treatment in staving off diabetes.

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