VA Tool Aimed at Preventing Diabetes

A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pilot program seeks to reduce diabetes prevalence among veterans.

“Approximately 24 percent of veterans have type II diabetes,” said Dr. Linda Kinsinger, VA’s chief consultant for preventive medicine. “We’ve monitored the DPP’s results, and we feel that it could be another tool to make a difference for veterans.”

DDP or the Diabetes Prevention Program was a multicenter clinical research study that examined the relationship between type II diabetes and modest weight loss through dietary change and increased physical activity or treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin. Participants deemed prediabetic—that is, overweight and with blood glucose (blood sugar) levels higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis—were enrolled. The results showed that those who lost a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity reduced their chances of developing diabetes.

Based on the DDP results, the voluntary pilot program will enable veterans who are at risk for diabetes to attend group sessions where they will receive predetermined weight loss and physical activity goals. Other veterans at risk for diabetes will receive weight management care through VA’s current weight management program, MOVE!

A limited number of veterans with prediabetes will be able to participate in the program at medical centers in Minneapolis, Baltimore and Greater Los Angeles; VA Ann Arbor will serve as the coordinating center.

For more information on the program, click here.