First international trial on diabetes prevention

Hope for millions: risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be drastically lowered by treatment at an early stage

Better and more cost-efficient treatment is possible

Leverkusen - Treatment at an early stage before diabetes finally becomes manifest can drastically lower the risk of mortality, because diabetics live dangerously: almost 70 percent die of myocardial infarction or stroke. As the first trial on the prevention of adult-onset (type II) diabetes 2 shows, Bayer�'s antidiabetes drug (active ingredient: acarbose) reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications by almost one half. In addition, it lowers the risk of diabetes by up to 36 percent. The findings of the trial were recently presented in Munich.

"The clock starts ticking long before diabetes is diagnosed," warned the Principal Investigator of STOP-NIDDM (Study To Prevent Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), Professor Jean-Louis Chiasson from Montreal, Canada. "A blood glucose test (oral glucose tolerance test) should be carried out for each patient to evaluate his or her personal risk, particularly in cases where the patient is overweight or suffering from a lack of exercise. This is the only way the physician can obtain reliable information for preventive treatment." According to Professor Chiasson, the trial comprised 1,429 patients exhibiting a precursor stage to diabetes. The findings will be published in a renowned international journal.

As another study has shown, pathologically elevated post-prandial blood glucose levels damage the blood vessels and lead to arteriosclerosis. This time bomb can be disarmed by acarbose; the drug product prevents the blood glucose concentration from increasing excessively.

"Nobody should rely on medicine alone, however," stresses Professor Chiasson. "Weight loss and regular exercise are the cornerstones of diabetes prevention."

It is estimated that 150 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. This figure is set to increase by around 50 percent by 2010, with overweight adolescents being increasingly frequently affected.

"We can now open a new chapter in the prevention and treatment of diabetes," said Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, Head of Bayer HealthCare�'s Pharmaceuticals Division. "The trial findings will lead to better and more cost-effective treatment because they show that severe complications can be avoided." Acarbose is manufactured exclusively by Bayer.


Dr. Michael Diehl

Tel.: +49 (0)214 30-58532

E-mail: michael.diehl.md@bayer-ag.de

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