I am the Program Coordinator for the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, a multi-center study which has been ongoing since February 1996. We ended recruitment in February, 1999. There are two staff members working on the DPPOS here – myself and Rina DeSandre. We have worked together since the study’s inception!
Our study is looking at how to prevent diabetes in people at high risk. It was a very stringent screening process, but finally after three years we finished recruitment and randomized 153 people. There are three treatment groups now. One is using the medication metformin, which is currently indicated for treatment of diabetes, one group is the placebo and the other group is intensive lifestyle. Those in the intensive lifestyle group have a goal to lose 7% of their weight and do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) each week.
Since our study has been going on so long, we actually have some results initially published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2001. It was found that lifestyle was almost twice as effective (a 58% reduction in risk) at preventing diabetes as taking metformin for prevention. However, the metformin did have a 31% reduction in risk of getting diabetes.
Our participants are quite loyal – with a greater than 90% retention rate. They see us twice a year now. We also have classes on a quarterly basis and all are invited and can bring a guest as well. There are various topics ranging from stress reduction to resistance training to eating a Mediterranean based diet.
We are planning on continuing the study until 2014. However, we are also in the process of planning for another extension. We still have many questions to be answered and our participants are also eager to continue. (What a great job I have!)
Program Coordinator, DPPOS