A long-term follow-up of more than 2000 people enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes (DPPOS) Study indicates a continued significant reduction in the participants risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to the results from a study presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 80th virtual Scientific Sessions.

The DPPOS is the long-term follow-up of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a multicenter trial conducted from 1996 to 2001 that established the success of either an intensive lifestyle program or treatment with metformin to prevent or delay the development of T2D in individuals who were considered at high risk for developing the disease.

The DPP demonstrated that a lifestyle intervention aimed at achieving weight loss and metformin treatment reduced the risk of T2D development by 58% and 31%, respectively, compared with placebo after an average of 3 years. Known as one of the most commonly used medications worldwide for the treatment of T2D, metformin is currently not labeled by the FDA for prevention purposes, although it is approved in other countries for that indication.

At the conclusion of the DPP study, 88% of the original 3234 participants were still enrolled in the DPPOS, including the DPP participants who had developed T2D and those who still had not developed diabetes. Additionally, the DPPOS sought to evaluate the long-term effects of the DPP interventions on the further development of T2D and its complications, including retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease.

After an average 22 years of study, 75% of the participants who enrolled in the DPP who are still alive have continued to be evaluated. The follow-up population includes the participants who have developed diabetes and those who have not.

The current results examine whether metformin has beneficial effects on major cardiovascular disease, since the drug was continued in the original metformin treatment group over time. These effects include fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and stroke, or cancer compared with the original placebo group.

Further, since the mean age of the participants is now 72 years, DPPOS has started to investigate contributors to healthy aging and comorbidities.

New Data from Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study Shows Persistent Reduction of Type 2 Diabetes Development Over 22-Year Average Follow-Up. News release. American Diabetes Association. June 16, 2020. Accessed June 16, 2020 [email].