Background: The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that an intensive lifestyle intervention can reduce the development of diabetes by more than half in adults with prediabetes, but there is little information about the feasibility of offering such an intervention in community settings. This study evaluated the delivery of a group-based DPP lifestyle intervention in partnership with the YMCA.
Methods: This pilot cluster-randomized trial was designed to compare group-based DPP lifestyle intervention delivery by the YMCA to brief counseling alone (control) in adults who attended a diabetes risk-screening event at one of two semi-urban YMCA facilities and who had a BMI>or=24 kg/m2, >or=2 diabetes risk factors, and a random capillary blood glucose of 110-199 mg/dL. Multivariate regression was used to compare between-group differences in changes in body weight, blood pressures, HbA1c, total cholesterol, and HDL-cholesterol after 6 and 12 months.
Results: Among 92 participants, controls were more often women (61% vs 50%) and of nonwhite race (29% vs 7%). After 6 months, body weight decreased by 6.0% (95% CI=4.7, 7.3) in intervention participants and 2.0% (95% CI=0.6, 3.3) in controls (p<0.001; difference between groups). Intervention participants also had greater changes in total cholesterol (-22 mg/dL vs +6 mg/dL controls; p<0.001). These differences were sustained after 12 months, and adjustment for differences in race and gender did not alter these findings. With only two matched YMCA sites, it was not possible to adjust for potential clustering by site.
Conclusions: The YMCA may be a promising channel for wide-scale dissemination of a low-cost approach to lifestyle diabetes prevention.