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Prediabetes and primary care: making a difference

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research (EDOR) public health physician Dr Kirsten Coppell has been interviewed by the online publication NZ Doctor about her award winning prediabetes intervention study.

In New Zealand around 7% of adults have diabetes, but the prevalence of prediabetes is 26%, with much higher levels in Māori and Pacific populations. Studies have demonstrated that lifestyle advice prevents progression from prediabetes to diabetes, but evidence showing how this can be achieved in ‘real world’ settings is limited.

Dr Coppell and her team have developed a training package for practice nurses to deliver dietary advice as part of primary care, in a pilot study in Hawke's Bay.  Of the 157 patients involved, 85 received the intervention and 72 were in a control group. The intervention group lost an average of 1.3kg more than the control group, with reductions in other measures associated with the development of diabetes.

Practice nurses felt that the information, strategies and structured approach were key to their successful delivery of dietary advice to patients with prediabetes. Dr Coppell is now leading a further study in Hawke's Bay looking at why some people with prediabetes progress to full-blown diabetes, while others stay the same or go back to normal.

Read more about the prediabetes pilot study

Further information