Let's Prevent is a research study funded by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programme grant.
Let's Prevent is the first randomised controlled study looking at whether an education and lifestyle programme (of diet and exercise) can prevent those with a condition called pre-diabetes going on to develop diabetes.
Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance (where the blood sugars are not in the 'normal' range, but have not yet reached a level that means diabetes) are increasingly appearing in younger people, those under the age of 40years old. Before the presence of diabetes, most people will have some degree of high glucose levels, as has been found in previous screening studies such as STAR & ADDITION.
The best way to address the problem of diabetes and its complications is to prevent diabetes from developing in the first place!
Research on patients with impaired glucose tolerance has shown that prevention is possible, particularly using group programmes aimed at supporting people to make lifestyle changes.
The aim of this study is to test whether the use of a lifestyle change programme (based on the DESMOND approach) prevents people with pre-diabetes going on to develop diabetes.
We know there are some things that make people more at risk of getting diabetes - such as being overweight or having high cholesterol - so we will be looking at information held by GP practices to find those people at risk of developing diabetes. Our aim was to recruit approximately 50 GP practices to the study. People from these practices identified as more at risk of diabetes were invited to clinic session where they were tested for pre-diabetes. Only those patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes took part in the study.
Each practice was randomised (like the toss of a coin) to either the education intervention (lifestyle change programme) or the control arm of the study, where people received routine treatment from their practice nurse or doctor. Those patients in the practices randomised to the education intervention were invited to a group session taking place over either one day, or two half-days. We also provided the opportunity to have a refresher session once a year. Patients in the practices randomised to the control arm received standard patient care and information. The education sessions were held in small groups and, where necessary, an interpreter was available.
All those taking part in the study have annual health checks for 3 years and this information is passed on to their GP.
Thanks to everyone who took at interest in the study, we have recruited our target of 748 people!
People in the study are still attending clinic sessions, so the study is still in progress. We hope to publish our first results in about 18 months time, although some of the early findings have already been presented at scientific conferences in the UK and in Europe - details listed below.
Accepted by Diabetologia for publication:
Everyone taking part in Let's Prevent is in the study for 3 years and attends a follow up yearly. Even if someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they stay in the study. It is important to monitor those people who have been identified as at risk of developing diabetes. If someone has been diagnosed by their GP with pre-diabetes then they will have blood tests and checks each year to see whether they still have pre-diabetes, and whether their blood sugars have returned to normal or progressed to diabetes,. Whilst in the Let's Prevent study, the study team takes care of those tests , seeing people for the yearly review and, at the same time, collecting the information for the research study. This information will help us to see if the education sessions help to prevent diabetes.
When the study has finished, our findings will hopefully help improve current health services. That is what research is really all about!
For further information about Let's Prevent please contact the team by using the form below or email: Stephanie Goldby Senior Project Lead / Primary Care Lead