A Community-Based Diabetes Prevention and Management Education Program in a Rural Village in India

  1. Padmini Balagopal, PHD, CDE, RD1,
  2. N. Kamalamma, PHD1,
  3. Thakor G. Patel, MD, MACP2 and
  4. Ranjita Misra, PHD, CHES, FMALRC3
  1. 1Gandhigram Rural Institute, Tamilnadu, India
  2. 2Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
  3. 3Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  1. Corresponding author: Ranjita Misra, 4243 TAMU, Room 158V Read Building, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. E-mail: misra{at}hlkn.tamu.edu


OBJECTIVE—In this study we evaluated a 7-month community-based nonpharmacological lifestyle intervention to prevent/reduce the risk of developing diabetes and its complications in a resource-poor village in Tamilnadu, India.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—A total of 703 village inhabitants, comprising adults and youth aged 10–92 years, were provided educational intervention using “trained trainers.” Culturally and linguistically appropriate health education messages addressed diet, physical activity, and knowledge improvement. The prevalence of diabetes and the effectiveness of the intervention were assessed using select parameters.

RESULTS—The crude prevalences of diabetes and pre-diabetes among adults were 5.1 and 13.5%, respectively, while the prevalence of pre-diabetes in youth aged 10–17 years was 5.1%. Intervention reduced fasting blood glucose levels of pre-diabetic adults by 11%, pre-diabetic youth by 17%, and type 2 diabetic adults by 25%. Improvements in obesity parameters and dietary intake also occurred. A stepwise worsening of parameters progressing from the normoglycemic state to the impaired levels of pre-diabetes and diabetes was observed.

CONCLUSIONS—This study has charted the increasing prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in rural India. Educational intervention was successful in reducing some of the obesity parameters and improving dietary patterns of individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes.


  • Published ahead of print at http://care.diabetesjournals.org on 3 March 2008. DOI: 10.2337/dc07-1680.

    The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted February 24, 2008.
    • Received August 24, 2007.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 31 no. 6 1097-1104
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