NEW ORLEANS, June 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A study designed to test the impact of an intensive lifestyle intervention program on lowering blood glucose levels in low-income, African Americans with type 2 diabetes successfully reduced A1C after six months, relative to standard-of-care diabetes education. However, the study found no significant difference in reductions in the two groups by the end of the study period of one year, according to results reported at the American Diabetes Association’s 76th Scientific Sessions®, June 12, 2016, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
African Americans with type 2 diabetes suffer disproportionate rates of diabetes complications and hospitalizations, mostly due to poor glycemic control. This study evaluated if an intensive lifestyle intervention for low-income African Americans could help reduce blood glucose levels through a culturally-tailored and interactive intensive diabetes education program and increased social support that would lead to changes in diet and physical activity.
The study included 211 low-income, African American patients (55±10 years of age) with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes (A1C>7%) attending five outpatient clinics in the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) in Chicago. Participants were 70 percent female and 58 percent had an income of ≤$20,000 per year. They were randomly assigned to an intensive diabetes self-management arm known as the Lifestyle Improvement through Food and Exercise (LIFE) program (n=106), or a control arm (n=105) that received standard of care diabetes education. Participants had BMI of 35.6±8 kg/m2 and a duration of diabetes of 11.3±9 years. Participant retention was 93 percent in the LIFE arm and 95 percent in the control arm.
Patients in the LIFE arm were offered 28 group counseling sessions with dietitians and peer supporters in a community setting during the study period of one year, meeting weekly for the first four months; biweekly for the second four months; and monthly for the last four months of the study. The group sessions consisted of interactive and culturally-tailored diabetes nutrition education; group exercise sessions; and social support in the form of supportive group discussions and problem solving assistance. The LIFE arm patients also received weekly phone calls from peer supporters in their community during the same 12-month period. Participants were educated and counseled to be able to self-monitor blood glucose levels and to interpret the levels in order to actively participate in their diabetes management. .
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