In a Journal of Internal Medicine study that followed older adults with prediabetes for 12 years, most remained stable or reverted to normal blood sugar levels, and only one-third developed diabetes or died.
Among 918 individuals aged 60 years and older with prediabetes, 204 (22%) reverted to normal blood sugar levels, 119 (13%) developed diabetes, and 215 (23%) died. Lower systolic blood pressure, absence of heart diseases, and weight loss were linked with a higher likelihood of reverting from prediabetes to normal blood sugar levels, while obesity accelerated its progression to diabetes.
“Despite numerous studies focusing on prediabetes in the younger population, this is the first study describing the natural history of prediabetes in the older population,” said lead author Ying Shang, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. “The results of our study suggest that even in old age, reverting back from prediabetes to a normal blood sugar level is possible with effective weight management and blood pressure control.”