Jefferson Helps Launch Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is one of 25 medical centers across
the country participating in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a nationwide
research study looking at ways people at risk for Type 2, or "adult
onset" diabetes, can prevent or delay its onset.
The program will involve 4,000 volunteers and last four to six years. The
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is sponsoring the study.
Ideal volunteers for the study will be men and women, age 35 or older, who
have a family history of diabetes, are overweight and/or developed diabetes
Volunteers will receive a free screening to determine whether they have
impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), a condition where blood sugar level is
higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes.
"We are looking for volunteers who might have IGT to help discover
if people can prevent or delay getting Type 2 diabetes by lowering blood
sugar levels through diet and exercise or medication," explains Pamela
Watson, RN, ScD, professor at Thomas Jefferson University and principal
investigator of the program.
Eligible volunteers may be asked to exercise, eat healthy food or take medication
that lowers blood sugar and may help prevent diabetes. All study members
will visit their participating medical center on a regular basis over three
to six years.
Barry Goldstein, MD, PhD, director of the division of endocrinology, diabetes
and metabolic diseases and co-principal investigator of the program, believes
that study participants will be leaving a mark in the medical history books
through their efforts.
"By being part of this study, participants can possibly save themselves
from getting diabetes and also help their family in the future by contributing
to medical research," he says.
Diabetes is presently an incurable disease that affects more than 16 million
Americans. It can lead to blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart
disease and stroke.
Diabetes affects people of all backgrounds, but is most prevalent among
African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans
and Pacific Islanders.
To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program, please call 1-215-955-0444