From participating in national diabetes prevention trials to testing diabetes prevention interventions in rural and underserved communities, the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute (UPDI) is dedicated to the prevention of diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Support Center (DPSC) of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute has worked to prevent or delay diabetes and improve cardiovascular health by providing education, training, and program support services to health professionals by implementing diabetes prevention intervention within the community. At the core of the Center is training in delivery of a group-based, behavioral lifestyle intervention called the Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) program, which is modeled closely on the original Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) individual lifestyle intervention. The DPSC is also a resource for diabetes prevention for local, national, and international communities.
Approximately one quarter of Pennsylvania residents live in rural communities, which places them at high risk for developing chronic illness. UPDI reached out to eight rural communities in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area to help their residents reduce their risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Partnering with community hospitals and clinics, the REACT (Rethinking Eating and ACTivity) study was implemented in Cambria, Indiana, Fayette, and Washington counties. Over 400 individuals at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease took part in the 12-week Group Lifestyle Balance program that focused on healthy eating and physical activity. The program resulted in significant amounts of weight loss and both diabetes and cardiovascular risk reduction.
Recently, UPDI partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to develop a public awareness campaign focusing on diabetes prevention.
More specifically, UPDI sought to understand how to motivate high–risk individuals in southwestern Pennsylvania to go online and complete a diabetes risk assessment.
In just eight weeks, over 64,000 individuals went to the campaign website and nearly 40,000 completed the diabetes risk assessment.