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Diabetes study shines spotlight on lifestyle interventions
Date:1/10/2012

An Emory University study published in the January issue of Health Affairs assesses real-world lifestyle interventions to help delay or prevent the costly chronic disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans.

Researchers from Emory's Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) systematically reviewed the published literature and analyzed 28 studies that tested adaptations of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) trial in real-world settings. Published in 2002, this major clinical trial showed that structured lifestyle programs for people with prediabetes could halve the progression to diabetes.

"Participants in the DPP trial received exercise shoes, meal replacement shakes, personal (one-on-one) coaching by degree-holding professionals (exercise physiologists, nutritionists, nurses), and gym memberships that all together cost about $1,400 per person during the first year of the study," says lead investigator Mohammed Ali, MBChB, MSc, assistant professor of global health at Emory's RSPH.

"Over the years, a number of studies have tried to adapt the program and make it more affordable. My colleagues and I scanned the literature to find all such studies in the US, and combined the data to see what kind of average weight loss benefit is possible across all of these studies as moderate (5-7 percent) weight loss was the key driver of success in the DPP trial," says Ali.

The researchers found that a year after enrollment in these lifestyle programs, the average participant had lost about four percent of baseline body weight, an amount that may offer diabetes protection. The weight loss was the same regardless of whether the program relied on higher-salaried health professionals or lower-cost lay staff who are trained to deliver healthy eating and fitness advice. The authors concluded that costs associated with diabetes prevention can be lowered without sacrificing effectiveness and that motivating higher session attendance in
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Contact: Jennifer Johnson
jrjohn9@emory.edu
404-727-5696
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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