Systematic screening for prediabetes is not performed in Canada even though several studies have shown that treatment with or without medication can decrease the risk of developing diabetes. Since January 2009, Dr Jean-Louis Chiasson, an endocrinologist and researcher at the CRCHUM, has been working on this issue with his european colleagues within the framework of an important clinical research project in China.
WhAt is prediAbetes?
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person displays a high fasting blood sugar level (6.1 to 6.9 mmol/L) or a blood sugar level between 7.8 and 11 mmol/L two hours after an oral glucose tolerance test (75 g of glucose). Dr Chiasson is concerned because this condition carries an in-creased risk not only of progressing to diabetes, but also of causing cardiovascular problems. In his view, patients need to be treated at this stage. To this end, he is participating in the ACe study, a major new clinical research project.
Ace, A good cArd?
Funded by Bayer Laboratories, the ACe study is an original research project including 7,500 pa-tients with prediabetes who have experienced a cardiovascular event. The study’s objective is to assess the efficacy of the drug acarbose in pre-venting the incidence of mortality, myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents as well as the development of type 2 diabetes in predia-betes patients.
An earlier international study directed by Dr Chiasson demonstrated that acarbose reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 36% by re-
dr Jean-louis chiasson
ducing blood sugar levels after meals. Acarbose also reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 49%. encouraged by these re-
toWArds systemAtic screening
If the ACe study provides the necessary confir-
dr chiasson re-
mation of the effectiveness of Acarbose in re-
ducing the development of cardiovascular com-
“to the extent that
plications in at-risk populations, Chiasson feels
the results of this
Chiasson: “Given the size of China’s
that it will also provide convincing arguments in
study and others
favour of adopting preventive measures. In his
view, these measures should include systematic
screening and preventive treatments. The stakes
world find their
are quite high. The WHO estimates that if un-
way into public
checked, type 2 diabetes will affect more than
300 million people worldwide by 2020. never-
there is no reason
theless, Dr Chiasson remains optimistic: “To the
why we cannot
mic proportions.” The project’s find-
extent that the results of this study and others
throughout the world find their way into public
stem this epi-
health measures, there is no reason why we can-
regardless of national or ethnic origin.
R e S e A R C H C R C H U M VO L . 3 n O 1 J U n e 2 0 1 1
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