Calling people with moderately high blood sugar as “pre-diabetic” is a drastically premature measure with no medical value and huge financial and social costs, a research shows.
There is no benefit of giving diabetes treatment drugs to such people before they develop diabetes, particularly since many of them would not go on to develop diabetes anyway, researchers from University College London and Mayo Clinic argued.
“Pre-diabetes is an artificial category with virtually zero clinical relevance. There is no proven benefit of giving diabetes treatment drugs to people in this category,” said lead author John S. Yudkin, professor of Medicine at University College London.
The researchers showed that treatments to reduce blood sugar only delayed the onset of type-2 diabetes by a few years and found no evidence of long-term health benefits.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that “use of ‘pre-diabetes’ is discouraged to avoid any stigma associated with the word diabetes and the fact that many people do not progress to diabetes as the term implies”.
Healthy diet and physical activity remain the best ways to prevent and to tackle diabetes.
“Unlike drugs, they are associated with incredibly positive effects in other aspects of life,” added co-author Victor Montori, a professor at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the US.
The study was published in the British Medical Journal.