diabetes prevention

A US study looking into the efficacy of diabetes courses, found that those based on diabetes prevention programs (DPP) have “great results” for type 2 diabetes prevention.

Overall, it was found that those who enrolled in these courses generally not only lost weight, but also saw improvements in blood pressure and blood glucose levels, as well as in their cholesterol.

The investigation looked at 44 published studies, including data from almost 9,000 adults who had participated in prevention programs carried out within communities, at clinics and through online media.

“There are a number of studies that have shown that weight loss is achievable through DPP programs. Our study goes further by estimating the aggregate metabolic changes that can be achieved,” said lead researcher Mohammed K Ali, an associate professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory.

Ali believes the study proves programs, which look at modifying the lifestyle, can be successfully delivered in non-academic and non-clinical settings.

Most of all, however, according to him the findings are relevant for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) which plans to introduce diabetes prevention programs for the Medicare population who are deemed at high risk of developing the condition.

He said: “On average, participants in the 44 included studies were similar to participants in the original DPP trial, and achieved less weight loss (3.8 vs. 6.8kg), but similar improvements in glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol reductions and programs with a maintenance component (keeping contact with participants even after the core program sessions are complete) were associated with larger benefits.”

The authors concluded: “According to our findings, there is no difference in outcomes based on who or where DPP programs are delivered, and improvement in other cardio-metabolic factors suggests the program may be especially cost-effective.

“These types of interventions can yield great results for diabetes prevention if distributed nationally.”

The findings have been published in the PLOS Medicine journal.