Nearly half of the older adult population has diabetes or a high-risk intermediate glycemic category, but we still lack trial evidence for effective type 2 diabetes prevention interventions in most of the current high-risk glycemic categories.
To determine whether a group-based lifestyle intervention (with or without trained volunteers with type 2 diabetes) reduced the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes in populations with a high-risk glycemic category.
The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Study was a parallel, 3-arm, group-based, randomized clinical trial conducted with up to 46 months of follow-up from August 2011 to January 2019 at 135 primary care practices and 8 intervention sites in the East of England. We identified 141 973 people at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, screened 12 778 (9.0%), and randomized those with a high-risk glycemic category, which was either an elevated fasting plasma glucose level alone (≥110 and <126 mg/dL [to convert to millimoles per liter, multiply by 0.0555]) or an elevated glycated hemoglobin level (≥6.0% to <6.5%; nondiabetic hyperglycemia) with an elevated fasting plasma glucose level (≥100 to <110 mg/dL).
A control arm receiving usual care (CON), a theory-based lifestyle intervention arm of 6 core and up to 15 maintenance sessions (INT), or the same intervention with support from diabetes prevention mentors, trained volunteers with type 2 diabetes (INT-DPM).
Type 2 diabetes incidence between arms.
In this study, 1028 participants were randomized (INT, 424 [41.2%] [166 women (39.2%)]; INT-DPM, 426 [41.4%] [147 women (34.5%)]; CON, 178 [17.3%] [70 women (%39.3)]) between January 1, 2011, and February 24, 2017. The mean (SD) age was 65.3 (10.0) years, mean (SD) body mass index 31.2 (5) (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared), and mean (SD) follow-up 24.7 (13.4) months. A total of 156 participants progressed to type 2 diabetes, which comprised 39 of 171 receiving CON (22.8%), 55 of 403 receiving INT (13.7%), and 62 of 414 receiving INT-DPM (15.0%). There was no significant difference between the intervention arms in the primary outcome (odds ratio [OR], 1.14; 95% CI, 0.77-1.7; P = .51), but each intervention arm had significantly lower odds of type 2 diabetes (INT: OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.34-0.85; P = .01; INT-DPM: OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.96; P = .033; combined: OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.38-0.87; P = .01). The effect size was similar in all glycemic, age, and social deprivation groups, and intervention costs per participant were low at $153 (£122).
The Norfolk Diabetes Prevention lifestyle intervention reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes in current high-risk glycemic categories. Enhancing the intervention with DPM did not further reduce diabetes risk. These translatable results are relevant for current diabetes prevention efforts.
ISRCTN Registry Identifier: ISRCTN34805606.