Top Research Studies About Diabetes

Health Writer
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Research studies pave the way for new and better treatments. Over the past several decades, there have been several landmark studies that influence how doctors treat diabetes. The following are some of the most important studies ever completed, as well as a few that are still in progress.


An early study

In 1998, over 5,000 people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were recruited for a study, the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), to look at how glycemic control affected vascular complications and to compare different medications. The participants were followed for 10 years. At the time, it was the largest and longest study for type 2 diabetes according to Pharmacy Times. The study found that intensive glycemic control resulted in a reduction of microvascular events but did not affect macrovascular disease or mortality.


Diabetes rates continue to increase

The prevalence of diabetes is predicted to increase by 54 percent by the year 2030 according to a study completed in 2010. Researchers looked at patterns to estimate that 439 million adults around the world will have diabetes by 2030. This will cause a tremendous health burden, especially on developing countries.


What blood glucose monitoring system is best?

Blood glucose monitoring systems were compared in the North American Comparator Trial in 2013. The five systems tested included Contour Next EZ blood glucose monitoring system, Accu-Chek Aviva, FreeStyle Freedom Lit, One Touch Ultra 2 and True-Track. Results from blood samples were compared through the absolute relative difference and other analysis. The Contour Next EZ system was found to be the most accurate.


Medications to lower cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes

A 2015 study looked at the effects of liraglutide on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in people with type 2 diabetes. Over 9,000 participants were given either liraglutide or a placebo. The researchers found that the medication reduced the rate of cardiovascular events among people with type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

One study completed in 2017, led by Frank Hu, MD, MPH, looked at gestational diabetes and the later risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers followed participants to identify factors that would increase their likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. They determined that dietary and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.


Medications to lower blood glucose

A current study is looking at what medications work best for lowering blood glucose levels. The Glycemic Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study (GRADE), is a long-term study. Participants must have type 2 diabetes and have been diagnosed within the last ten years. They will randomly be given different medications, such as glimepiride, sitagliptin, liraglutide, and basal insulin glargine, plus metformin and will be followed for seven years. Researchers will be looking at side effects, glycemic control and overall health to determine which medications are most effective.


Can the pancreas recover?

The Restoring Insulin Secretion Study (RISE) is looking into whether aggressive lowering of glucose in those with prediabetes or early type 2 diabetes will help the pancreas to recover function. It is a combination of three studies that will look for ways to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in youth and adults.


Vitamin D may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes

Another current study is looking at the potential positive benefits of vitamin D supplements in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. The study, D2d, will analyze ether effectiveness and safety of vitamin D and whether it has any effect on prediabetes or diabetes. There are currently 2423 people enrolled in the study and it is possible to still join.


Research continues

In addition to the past and current studies, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is interested in funding more research. They are currently seeking proposals from researchers who want to further the understanding of genes, and their variants, in the development of type 1 diabetes and to better understand the effects of type 1 diabetes on bone mass and fracture risk.