A Community-Based Diabetes Prevention and Management Education Program in a Rural Village in India

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

In this study we evaluated a 7-month community-based nonpharmacological lifestyle intervention to prevent/reduce the risk of developing diabetes and its complications in a resource-poor village in Tamilnadu, India.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

A total of 703 village inhabitants, comprising adults and youth aged 10–92 years, were provided educational intervention using “trained trainers.” Culturally and linguistically appropriate health education messages addressed diet, physical activity, and knowledge improvement. The prevalence of diabetes and the effectiveness of the intervention were assessed using select parameters.

RESULTS

The crude prevalences of diabetes and pre-diabetes among adults were 5.1 and 13.5%, respectively, while the prevalence of pre-diabetes in youth aged 10–17 years was 5.1%. Intervention reduced fasting blood glucose levels of pre-diabetic adults by 11%, pre-diabetic youth by 17%, and type 2 diabetic adults by 25%. Improvements in obesity parameters and dietary intake also occurred. A stepwise worsening of parameters progressing from the normoglycemic state to the impaired levels of pre-diabetes and diabetes was observed.

CONCLUSIONS

This study has charted the increasing prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in rural India. Educational intervention was successful in reducing some of the obesity parameters and improving dietary patterns of individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes.

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