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International Diabetes Federation grant supports study to prevent type 2 diabetes in India

- The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) BRIDGES translational research grant programme will fund a lifestyle intervention trial that seeks to reduce the risk of for people developing type 2 diabetes in Chennai, India.

The community based diabetes prevention programme will determine optimal ways to translate the programs developed for research studies of lifestyle interventions for diabetes prevention to real-life settings in Chennai (formerly Madras) India. The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University will collaborate with a team of investigators from Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) and will facilitate a study of 700 people with pre-diabetes in Chennai. The study is designed to explore ways to identify and evaluate culturally appropriate, low-cost, feasible and sustainable ways to promote changes in health behaviours, improved diet, weight loss and increased physical activity to prevent diabetes in those in South India.

The messages will be tailored to the unique dietary patterns and physical activity programmes of Indian communities and will be designed to determine if these targeted interventions are effective and cost-effective.

"This grant will help researchers and clinicians to better understand how to create and deliver culturally tailored programs for the prevention of diabetes in high-risk populations. The project is designed to produce a permanent, community-based program for promoting diabetes prevention and healthy lifestyle changes" said Dr. K.M. Venkat Narayan, principal investigator of the study and a world leader in translational research.

The International Diabetes Federation's Diabetes Atlas reports that India has the highest number of people with diabetes in the world. Currently, 40.9 million Indians have diabetes and by 2025, this number will rocket to 69.9 million. In addition, 35 million Indians are at risk for diabetes -impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). India is not alone in facing the diabetes epidemic. Over 250 million people worldwide live with diabetes and by 2025, over 380 million people will have the disease. (1)

"All South Asians, including those with diabetes, could benefit from making the positive changes in diet, activity, and behaviour that are taught in this program," said Dr. Narayan.

Data and results from the trial will be used to design and advocate policy and public health recommendations, which will result in broader diabetes prevention efforts in India and other South Asian countries.

"India is at the epicentre of the diabetes pandemic. Every effort must be taken to prevent the devastating human, social and economic effects of diabetes," said Dr. Linda Siminerio, Chair of the IDF BRIDGES Review Committee. "The Chennai trial led by Dr. Narayan and Indian investigators will help to address the major public health issue"

The Federation, through BRIDGES, is committed to converting research findings into useful practices for the provision of quality care and services delivered by healthcare providers. The culturally specific randomized trial in India, along with the 10 other selected translational research projects, was chosen because of its innovative idea, demonstration of the potential for health care cost savings, sustainability plans and the opportunity for its results to be widely replicated in other settings.


Contact: Kerrita McClaughlyn
International Diabetes Federation

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