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Study shows community approach effective in fight against diabetes
Date:3/17/2013

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. March 18, 2013 New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that a diabetes prevention program led by community health workers is effective at reducing blood glucose and potentially reducing diabetes over the long term.

This is the largest program to successfully replicate the results achieved by the Diabetes Prevention Project (DPP), a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which demonstrated several years ago that lifestyle weight-loss interventions can reduce the incidence of diabetes by 58 percent. The study is published in the March 18 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"We wanted to take this intervention out to people in the community rather than having them have to come to us in a clinical setting," said the study's lead author, Jeff Katula, Ph.D., assistant professor of health and exercise sciences at Wake Forest University and joint assistant professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest Baptist. "Given the high prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome and risk for diabetes, our study shows we can provide an effective program in a community setting."

Latest estimates indicate that almost 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and another 79 million adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Despite improved treatment, the overall public health burden continues to increase, which highlights the critical importance of prevention, Katula said.

Because the DPP involved substantial amounts of resources and specialized personnel, the goal of the Wake Forest Baptist study was to test a translation of the DPP model in community settings. The lifestyle weight-loss interventions were conducted by community health workers in parks and recreation centers, rather than by health care profess
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Contact: Marguerite Beck
marbeck@wakehealth.edu
336-716-2415
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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