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Sunday, 9 September, 2001, 23:53 GMT 00:53 UK
Fat busting drug helping diabetics
Fat man
More than 90% of sufferers are overweight.
Treating diabetics with a fat busting drug can control their condition, say scientists.

The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference in Glasgow on Monday will hear that Xenical can help control type 2 diabetes in overweight patients.

Professor Markolf Hanefield, from the University of Dresden, in Germany, found that Xenical improved the patients' blood sugar control, reduced their need for anti-diabetic medication and helped them to lose weight.

He said without the drug many found the vital weight loss too difficult.

Weight loss

"Achieving sufficient weight loss is a vital first step in the treatment of people with type 2 diabetes, although less than 10% of people with type 2 diabetes manage to achieve sufficient weight loss through diet alone.

"Any medication, therefore, which helps people to lose weight, improves blood sugar control, whilst also reducing their need for anti-diabetic medication, is of real value for people who need to control their weight and their type 2 diabetes."

His studies showed that after just one year taking Xenical that patients lost more weight (5.3kg) than those treated with diet alone (3.4kg).

There are currently 120-140 million people with type 2 diabetes world-wide and the number is expected to double over the next 25 years.

More than 90% of sufferers are overweight.


The ESAD meeting, hosted by Diabetes UK, is expected to attract the world's leading diabetic researchers over the five day conference.

EASD President Jorn Nerup said: "Diabetes is a serious condition which touches the lives of millions of people across the world.

"Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness.

"Therefore research into diabetes is vital, not just to improve the quality of people's lives, but actually to save lives.

"The EASD conference provides a unique opportunity for scientists from across the world to share their knowledge and find out what's new in diabetes research."

See also:

27 Aug 01 | Health
Insulin pill hope for diabetics
27 Jun 01 | Health
Hopes for diabetes cure
17 Jun 01 | Health
'An end to insulin jabs'
10 Jun 01 | Health
Diabetes deaths 'unnecessary'
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