Background: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has dramatically increased in Europe, and the age-at-diagnosis has become younger. Action is needed now to develop targeted prevention management program for T2D. The DE-PLAN ("Diabetes in Europe - Prevention using Lifestyle, Physical Activity and Nutritional intervention") project, led by the University of Helsinki is currently addressing this major public health concern in Europe.
Methods: The DE-PLAN project aims at developing and testing models of efficient identification and intervention of individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes in the community. It conducts a lifestyle modification intervention in people at high risk for T2D. Furthermore, it tests the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the translation of the current research evidence about preventive intervention program into clinical settings within existing health care systems in 17 European countries.
Results: This 3-year project spanning has commenced mid-2005. By now, 25 institutions from 17 countries are involved.
Conclusion: The development of efficient screening strategies for type 2 diabetes risk as well as the development of core intervention strategies for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes should significantly enhance the ability of health care professionals to respond swiftly to the drastic increase of T2D and its burden to the society.