Reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Working with researchers in Leicester, they recruited 1,368 people – including more than 300 of south Asian ethnicity – to take part in the NIHR-funded PROPELS study.

Study participants all had blood glucose (sugar) levels that were higher than normal, and this put them at risk of developing T2D.

Participants were allocated to one of three groups. The first group received detailed advice on how to reduce their risk of T2D. The second group received the same information, a pedometer (step counter), encouragement to walk 2,000-3,000 steps more each day and an annual 4-hour education programme about diet and physical activity. The final group received all this plus follow-on support through personalised text-messaging and telephone calls to encourage behaviour change and monitoring of physical activity by a pedometer.

After 12 months and then again at 4 years, participants provided blood samples and their physical activity was measured. The data is being analysed and the results should provide new evidence for the long-term effectiveness of a tailored programme to reduce T2D risk in high-risk groups.

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