The number of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes in Norway has dropped by 50%, it has been announced.
The researchers believe lifestyle changes could explain the reduced rates, while new cases of heart attacks were also lower which they believe could be related to reductions in smoking, as well as increased healthy diet choices and physical activity.
Teams from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and Oslo University Hospital studied data from between 2009-2014 in a bid to find trends relating to type 2 diabetes.
The research involved calculating the number of new cases per year by gender, age, education level and country of birth. The information was taken from three different registries including the KUHR database, the Norwegian Patient Registry and the Norwegian Prescription Database.
During the five-year study period there were 75,000 people who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which equates to an average of 13,600 cases per calendar year.
They say the number of new cases of diabetes has dropped from 609 per 100,000 people to 398 per 100,000.
The figures also showed that because of population growth and people living for longer, the number of people who continue to live with type 2 diabetes increased over the course of the study period.
The researchers were unable to explain why there was a decline in the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but believe HbA1c diagnostic methods and lifestyle choices could be key.
“The introduction of HbA1c as the recommended diagnostic method in 2012 seemed to have a significant, but limited, impact on trends. Furthermore, it is possible that improvements in lifestyle factors may have contributed to some of the observed changes,” the authors wrote.
Lead author of the study Paz Lopez-Doriga Ruiz said: “We do not know if the decline in 2009-2014 was short-lived and whether the numbers have gone up or down since then. We hope to continue our research with annual updates that will become part of the Institute’s health surveillance. It is of great interest to follow the development of type 2 diabetes over time.”
The findings have been published in the journal Diabetologia.
Editor’s note: Eating a healthy real-food diet as recommended in our Low Carb Program can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Almost 40% of users with type 2 diabetes are able to eliminate at least one diabetes medication at the one-year mark.

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