It takes a village

Community-based lifestyle interventions show impact in diabetes care

JAOA study finds two months of healthy living classes significantly reduced risk of common diabetes complications in Appalachia.

Patients in Appalachian counties who participated in lifestyle intervention classes for two months noticed significant reductions in common diabetes complications, including cardiovascular risks, according to new research in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA).

The retrospective study evaluated 2011-2014 data collected from 110 patients who had either elevated fasting blood glucose levels or a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and participated in the Complete Health Improvement Lifestyle Intervention Program (CHIP), which includes dietary targets, cooking classes, exercise programs and group discussions to help participants improve their health.

According to the study, participants experienced significant reductions in:

  • Total cholesterol levels (9.6%),
  • Fasting glucose (9%),
  • Body mass index (3.7%) and
  • Systolic blood pressure (5.7%).

The study also found CHIP has shown to be effective in maintaining reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors for up to three years after completion of the program.

“Community-based interventions provide the social supports and specific instruction that move patients into healthy habits, which in some cases enabled them to reduce medications,” says co-author Jay Shubrook, DO, a professor and director of clinical research and diabetes services at the Touro University California, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo.

Read the JAOA study to learn more about the findings.

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