JDM  Vol.3 No.4 , November 2013
Prevention of type 2 diabetes in urban American Indian/Alaskan Native communities: The Life in BALANCE pilot study

Objective: The Life in BALANCE (LIB) study is a pilot translational study modeling the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) intensive life coaching intervention among an underserved, high-risk population: American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in a large urban setting (Las Vegas, Nevada). Research Design and Methods: A total of 22 overweight/obese AI/ANs (age, 39.6 ± 10.4 years; BMI, 34.1 ± 6.3 kg/m2) at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes (HbA1c > 5.4 (36 mmol/mol) < 6.4 percent (46 mmol/mol) participated in the program between April and December, 2011. Study participants completed a 16 week intensive life coaching intervention. In addition to obtaining qualitative data regarding opportunities and challenges of applying the life intervention for AI/AN participants in an urban setting, clinical data, including BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and blood lipids (HDL, LDL and Triglycerides), were collected. Results: Only 12 of the 22 participants remained in the LIB program at the final post-program follow-up. Participants demonstrated significant decreased waist circumference and elevated HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides manifested the highest percentage change without statistical significance. No significant change was observed in blood pressure or fasting blood glucose. Conclusions: LIB participants’ improvements in BMI, waist circumference, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides suggests type 2 diabetes prevention programs aimed at urban AI/ANs show significant potential for reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among this underserved and high risk community. Qualitative data suggest the main challenge for type 2 diabetes prevention specific to this population is a need for improved community outreach strategies.

Cite this paper: Benyshek, D. , Chino, M. , Dodge-Francis, C. , Begay, T. , Jin, H. and Giordano, C. (2013) Prevention of type 2 diabetes in urban American Indian/Alaskan Native communities: The Life in BALANCE pilot study. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 3, 184-191. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2013.34028.

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