Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders 2002. 1(0):23-.

Mahnaz Lankarani, Farzaneh Zahedi


The incidence and prevalence of type2 diabetes mellitus is increasing worldwide.  Many believe that type 2 diabetes mellitus is a disease that can be prevented by appropriate interventions in individuals at high risk for the disease.  A number of studies have therefore looked at primary prevention during the past decade.  Iran's diabetic population of approximately 2 million people and the warning by the World Health Organisation that diabetes is on the rise in developing countries make the primary prevention of diabetes mellitus in Iran doubly important.  Researchers have been increasingly focusing on identifying the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and, through these, appropriate strategies to prevent the rapidly growing incidence of this disease in the population at risk.  Genetic predisposition (a positive family history), insulin resistance, obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, a history of gestational diabetes mellitus, physical inactivity and an unsuitable diet are among the most important recognised risk factors for type 2 diabetes; other factors have also been found to contribute.  Most of the available research has evaluated the effect of behavioural or lifestyle modification, in the form usually of dietary education and increased physical activity, in the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.  The second most common approach has been pharmacological manipulation.

The information available indicates that type 2 diabetes will come to be considered as a preventable disease within the next decade.  The weight of research behind this problem will undoubtedly discover even more effective methods of preventing type 2 diabetes in the near future than behavioural/lifestyle modification.


type 2 diabetes mellitus, primary prevention, diet, physical activity, lifestyle,


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