(HealthDay News) — Lifestyle modification (LSM) and medications can reduce the incidence of diabetes in adults at risk, although the effects of medications are short-lived, according to a review published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

J. Sonya Haw, MD, from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated aggregate long-term effects of different diabetes prevention strategies on the incidence of diabetes in adults at risk for diabetes. Data were included from 43 studies with 49,029 participants that assessed LSM (19 studies), medication interventions (>6 months; 19 studies), and combined medications and LSM (5 studies) for diabetes prevention in adults.

The researchers found that LSM was correlated with a relative risk (RR) reduction of 39% and medications with an RR reduction of 36% at the end of the active intervention. For LSM and medication studies, the observed risk difference was four cases per 100 person-years or a number-needed-to-treat of 25. LSM studies achieved an RR reduction of 28% and medication studies showed no sustained RR reduction at the end of the washout or follow-up period.

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“In adults at risk for diabetes, LSM and medications (weight loss and insulin-sensitizing agents) successfully reduced diabetes incidence,” the authors write. “Medication effects were short-lived.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Haw JS, Galaviz KI, Straus AN, et al. Long-term Sustainability of Diabetes Prevention Approaches: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1808-1817. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.6040