A drug that has been shown to cut the risk of diabetes by two thirds has been hailed by doctors as giving new hope to thousands of people. The world is in the grip of an epidemic of diabetes, with almost two million people affected in the UK alone and a million more predicted to succumb by 2010. The condition shortens lives by a decade and is the leading cause of blindness and amputations. The accelerating rise in the disease is driven by obesity and inactive lifestyles, and experts have warned that the numbers could overwhelm the NHS and lead to the first reduction in life expectancy in 200 years. An international trial of the drug rosiglitazone, run in 21 countries including the UK, has shown that it reduced the incidence of Type 2 diabetes by over 60 per cent in high-risk individuals. But Diabetes UK warned that the results could raise false expectations and undermine efforts to get sufferers to change their lifestyles. Public health experts said the cost of the drug – £25 a month in the UK – and lack of long-term results meant governments were unlikely to pay. Hertzel Gerstein, of […]

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