Research indicates that one in every four New Zealand adults have pre-diabetes – the condition you get before you get diabetes. However, if lifestyle changes were made the risk of these people getting diabetes could be reduced by up to 60 percent.
To see if this change is possible a research project is underway in the MidCentral District Health Board area to see what types of lifestyle education interventions are the most useful for reducing people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Massey University health conditions clinical psychologist and PhD researcher Sarah Malthus is working with MDHB looking to recruit a total of 190 participants in the DHB area for the study. She already has about 60 recruits, and would like 130 more.
Sarah said this is the first randomised controlled study conducted in New Zealand that has evaluated the effectiveness of pre-diabetes education interventions. “This research is vital because prevalence rates of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are rising, both in New Zealand and internationally.
“Research indicates that about 25 percent of the New Zealand adult population now meet criteria for pre-diabetes. These results are sobering because they suggest that unless more is done at the diabetes prevention level, rates of diabetes will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.
“This study will provide important information for health providers about the types of intervention that are most effective for supporting people with pre-diabetes to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Research shows that lifestyle interventions can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 60 percent.
“They can also reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease, kidney failure, amputations, and blindness.
Participants can be referred for the study by their GP or Practice Nurse, and they can self-refer, but they must be over aged 18; and have a blood test result that shows they have pre-diabetes.
The total time involved in taking part in the study ranges from between three to seven hours, over six months. Volunteers may be asked to attend two brief (two-hour) intervention sessions. These will give participants information about what pre-diabetes is, and lifestyle changes people can make, to decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. People will complete questionaires giving information about their lifestyle, well-being and physical health. Some blood samples will also be taken to give researchers information about volunteers’ diabetes risk. Participants will receive a $15 petrol voucher after each assessment session to compensate for their travel costs.
People interested in volunteering can contact Sarah Malthus on 027 342 0581.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945