In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, Jefferson's Diabetes Prevention Program has been holding Open Houses every Friday to screen for diabetes. Thomas Jefferson University is one of 26 medical centers across the country participating in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a nationwide, National Institutes of Health (NIH) research study looking at ways people at risk for Type 2, or "adult onset" diabetes, can prevent or delay its onset.
The Open Houses will continue through the end of the year, every Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Diabetes Prevention Program, 1015 Chestnut Street, Suite M-100. The screenings provided by the DPP will determine whether a person has an impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), a condition where blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. If a person has this condition, he or she will be accepted into the study which will help to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Ideal volunteers for the DPP are men and women, age 25 or older, who have a family history of diabetes, are overweight and/or developed diabetes during pregnancy.
"Those accepted into the study will randomly be assigned to one of the medication arms of the study," explains Pamela Watson, RN, ScD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nursing, College of Health Professions, Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Professor of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, and principal investigator of the program. "The DPP consists of four study groups. Three are designed to determine whether medications that lower blood sugar can also help prevent diabetes, and the fourth group looks at the impact lifestyle changes have on prevention."
In addition to having the opportunity to take medication that may prevent them from developing diabetes, study participants meet regularly with DPP nurses and counselors who provide tips on proper nutrition and exercise, and check blood, sugar level, weight and blood pressure.
"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 knowledge," said Barry Goldstein, MD, PhD, Director of Jefferson's Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases and co-principal investigator of the DPP.
To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program, please call 955-0444 or 1-800-JEFF-NOW.