NIH Head Applauds Diabetes Prevention Program

Edward Horton, M.D. of Joslin Diabetes Center

Edward Horton, M.D.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Testifying before a U.S. Senate appropriations sub-committee last week, the director of the National Institutes of Health highlighted the success of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a landmark clinical trial on preventing type 2 diabetes in which Joslin has been a leader.

The DPP “showed that people at high-risk for diabetes can dramatically reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes through modest exercise and dietary changes that achieve modest weight loss,” noted Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

A lifestyle program with increased physical exercise, dietary changes and a 5 to 10% decrease in body weight, implemented under the guidance of lifestyle coaches, lowered the risk of diabetes by 58 percent among participants, Dr. Collins pointed out. Treatment with the anti-diabetic medication metformin was also effective, reducing the development of diabetes by 31% in this high-risk population.

Ten-year results from the DPP and the follow-up Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS) have been published recently and have shown continued beneficial effects of both the lifestyle modification program and treatment with metformin. The DPP/DPPOS is now in its 18th year and participants will be followed biannually until at least 2014 or possibly longer to determine the effects of lifestyle changes and metformin on the development of diabetes and its complications, particularly microvascular complications and cardiovascular disease.

Because of the very positive results of the DPP/DPPOS so far, the NIH has now partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more than 200 private partners to bring these evidence-based lifestyle interventions to communities across the country.

“I think you all know how proud NIDDK is of the DPP/DPPOS and now you know that pride extends to the highest level at NIH,” said Judy Fradkin, M.D., director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

“Our DPP/DPPOS program continues to move forward extremely well, both nationally and here at Joslin,” commented Edward S. Horton, M.D., Principal Investigator for the DPP and head of Joslin’s DPPOS participation. “Our dedicated volunteers and staff have already accomplished a great deal and their continued participation in this landmark study will add greatly to our knowledge of the natural history of type 2 diabetes and the most effective ways to prevent it. It’s nice to get this type of recognition for our efforts!”

Edward Horton, M.D.