The Diabetes Prevention Study involved 3234 patients with IGT and BMI greater than 24 kg/m2. There were three groups for assignment: placebo, metformin (850 mg twice daily), or intensive lifestyle changes. The lifestyle modifications included dietary instruction, 150 minutes of exercise weekly, and a calorie-restricted, low-fat diet. These patients were followed for an average of 2.8 years. The study demonstrated a 58% relative risk reduction in progression to diabetes with diet and exercise compared with a 31% relative risk reduction with metformin. The number of patients needed to treat was seven for 3 years for lifestyle modification and 14 for metformin. The metformin seemed to be more effective in the younger patients with higher BMI and higher fasting-glucose levels than in patients more than 60 years of age, who showed the least benefit with the drug (14).
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