Objectives: Our community-academic partnership employed community-based participatory research to develop and pilot a simple, peer-led intervention to promote weight loss, which can prevent diabetes and eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in incident diabetes among overweight adults with prediabetes.
Methods: We recruited overweight adults at community sites, performed oral glucose tolerance testing to identify persons with blood glucose levels in the prediabetes range, and randomized eligible people to a peer-led lifestyle intervention group or delayed intervention in 1 year. Outcomes, including weight, blood pressure, and health behaviors, were measured at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months.
Results: More than half of those tested (56%, or 99 of 178) had prediabetes and enrolled in the study. Participants were predominantly Spanish-speaking, low-income, undereducated women. The intervention group lost significantly more weight than the control group and maintained weight loss at 12 months (7.2 versus 2.4 pounds; P < .01). One fourth (24 of 99) of participants progressed to diabetes.
Conclusions: In underserved minority communities, prediabetes prevalence may be higher than previously reported. Low-cost, community-based interventions can succeed in encouraging weight loss to prevent diabetes.