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1.  A cohort study comparing cardiovascular risk factors in rural Māori, urban Māori and non-Māori communities in New Zealand 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000799.
To understand health disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the indigenous Māori of New Zealand, diagnosed and undiagnosed CVD risk factors were compared in rural Māori in an area remote from health services with urban Māori and non-Māori in a city well served with health services.
Prospective cohort study.
Hauora Manawa is a cohort study of diagnosed and previously undiagnosed CVD, diabetes and risk factors, based on random selection from electoral rolls of the rural Wairoa District and Christchurch City, New Zealand.
Screening clinics were attended by 252 rural Māori, 243 urban Māori and 256 urban non-Māori, aged 20–64 years.
Main outcome measures
The study documented personal and family medical history, blood pressure, anthropometrics, fasting lipids, insulin, glucose, HbA1c and urate to identify risk factors in common and those that differ among the three communities.
Mean age (SD) was 45.7 (11.5) versus 42.6 (11.2) versus 43.6 (11.5) years in rural Māori, urban Māori and non-Māori, respectively. Age-adjusted rates of diagnosed cardiac disease were not significantly different across the cohorts (7.5% vs 5.8% vs 2.8%, p=0.073). However, rural Māori had significantly higher levels of type-2 diabetes (10.7% vs 3.7% vs 2.4%, p<0.001), diagnosed hypertension (25.0% vs 14.9% vs 10.7%, p<0.001), treated dyslipidaemia (15.7% vs 7.1% vs 2.8%, p<0.001), current smoking (42.8% vs 30.5% vs 15.2%, p<0.001) and age-adjusted body mass index (30.7 (7.3) vs 29.1 (6.4) vs 26.1 (4.5) kg/m2, p<0.001). Similarly high rates of previously undocumented elevated blood pressure (22.2% vs 23.5% vs 17.6%, p=0.235) and high cholesterol (42.1% vs 54.3% vs 42.2%, p=0.008) were observed across all cohorts.
Supporting integrated rural healthcare to provide screening and management of CVD risk factors would reduce health disparities in this indigenous population.
Article summary
Article focus
The indigenous Māori of New Zealand have high rates of CVD mortality and morbidity. Current data on the key risk factors underlying this ethnic disparity mostly come from national surveys relying on self-reported diagnoses or have been collected in New Zealand's largest urban centre, Auckland City.
This is the first study to screen CVD and associated risk factors concurrently between rural Māori residing in an area remote from health services (Wairoa District), urban Māori in a city well served with secondary and tertiary health services (Christchurch City) and an urban non-Māori cohort.
Key messages
We found that rural Māori had higher levels of obesity, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes mellitus type 2 and hyperuriaemia than either urban Māori or non-Māori. Thus, national health surveys and data collected in large urban centres may significantly underestimate the burden of CVD risk carried by rural Māori.
Public health initiatives to reduce rates of smoking among rural Māori, along with enhanced implementation of CVD screening in primary care and more intensive clinical management of hypertension, dyslipidaemia and hypeuricaemia would help reduce cardiovascular health disparities in the New Zealand indigenous population.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This study was able to determine current levels of both diagnosed and undiagnosed risk factors within these communities by conducting CVD screening clinics in sectors of the community that are often hard to reach. The findings of this study are limited by the relatively small cohort sizes and lack of a rural non-Māori comparator cohort.
PMCID: PMC3378934  PMID: 22685219
2.  Cure or control: complying with biomedical regime of diabetes in Cameroon 
The objective of the study was to explore the cultural aspect of compliance, its underlying principles and how these cultural aspects can be used to improve patient centred care for diabetes in Cameroon.
We used participant observation to collect data from a rural and an urban health district of Cameroon from June 2001 to June 2003. Patients were studied in their natural settings through daily interactions with them. The analysis was inductive and a continuous process from the early stages of fieldwork.
The ethnography revealed a lack of basic knowledge about diabetes and diabetes risk factors amongst people with diabetes. The issue of compliance was identified as one of the main themes in the process of treating diabetes. Compliance emerged as part of the discourse of healthcare providers in clinics and filtered into the daily discourses of people with diabetes. The clinical encounters offered treatment packages that were socially inappropriate therefore rejected or modified for most of the time by people with diabetes. Compliance to biomedical therapy suffered a setback for four main reasons: dealing with competing regimes of treatment; coming to terms with biomedical treatment of diabetes; the cost of biomedical therapy; and the impact of AIDS on accepting weight loss as a lifestyle measure in prescription packages. People with diabetes had fears about and negative opinions of accepting certain prescriptions that they thought could interfere with their accustomed social image especially that which had to do with bridging their relationship with ancestors and losing weight in the era of HIV/AIDS.
The cultural pressures on patients are responsible for patients' partial acceptance of and adherence to prescriptions. Understanding the self-image of patients and their background cultures are vital ingredients to improve diabetes care in low-income countries of Sub-Sahara Africa like Cameroon.
PMCID: PMC2267458  PMID: 18298835
3.  Getting better at chronic care in remote communities: study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled of community based management 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1017.
Prevalence and incidence of diabetes and other common comorbid conditions (hypertension, coronary heart disease, renal disease and chronic lung disease) are extremely high among Indigenous Australians. Recent measures to improve quality of preventive care in Indigenous community settings, while apparently successful at increasing screening and routine check-up rates, have shown only modest or little improvements in appropriate care such as the introduction of insulin and other scaled-up drug regimens in line with evidence-based guidelines, together with support for risk factor reduction. A new strategy is required to ensure high quality integrated family-centred care is available locally, with continuity and cultural safety, by community-based care coordinators with appropriate system supports.
The trial design is open parallel cluster randomised controlled trial. The objective of this pragmatic trial is to test the effectiveness of a model of health service delivery that facilitates integrated community-based, intensive chronic condition management, compared with usual care, in rural and remote Indigenous primary health care services in north Queensland. Participants are Indigenous adults (aged 18–65 years) with poorly controlled diabetes (HbA1c>=8.5) and at least one other chronic condition. The intervention is to employ an Indigenous Health Worker to case manage the care of a maximum caseload of 30 participants. The Indigenous Health Workers receive intensive clinical training initially, and throughout the study, to ensure they are competent to coordinate care for people with chronic conditions. The Indigenous Health Workers, supported by the local primary health care (PHC) team and an Indigenous Clinical Support Team, will manage care, including coordinating access to multidisciplinary team care based on best practice standards. Allocation by cluster to the intervention and control groups is by simple randomisation after participant enrolment. Participants in the control group will receive usual care, and will be wait-listed to receive a revised model of the intervention informed by the data analysis. The primary outcome is reduction in HbA1c measured at 18 months. Implementation fidelity will be monitored and a qualitative investigation (methods to be determined) will aim to identify elements of the model which may influence health outcomes for Indigenous people with chronic conditions.
This pragmatic trial will test a culturally-sound family-centred model of care with supported case management by IHWs to improve outcomes for people with complex chronic care needs. This trial is now in the intervention phase.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTR12610000812099
PMCID: PMC3519682  PMID: 23170964
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; Diabetes; Indigenous Health Worker; Partnerships; HbA1c control
4.  A qualitative study to identify community structures for management of severe malaria: a basis for introducing rectal artesunate in the under five years children in Nakonde District of Zambia 
BMC Public Health  2005;5:28.
Malaria is a serious illness among children aged 5 years and below in Zambia, which carries with it many adverse effects including anemia and high parasites exposure that lead to infant and childhood mortality. Due to poor accessibility to modern health facilities, malaria is normally managed at home using indigenous and cosmopolitan medicines. In view of problems and implications associated with management of severe malaria at home, rectal artesunate is being proposed as a first aid drug to slow down multiplication of parasites in children before accessing appropriate treatment.
A qualitative study using standardised in-depth and Focuss Group Discussions (FGDs) guides to collect information from four (4) villages in Nakonde district, was conducted between February and March 2004. The guides were administered on 29 key informants living in the community and those whose children were admitted in the health facility. Participants in the 12 FGDs came from the 4 participating villages. Participants and key informants were fathers, younger and older mothers including grandmothers and other influential people at household level. Others were traditional healers, headmen, village secretaries, tradtional birth attendants, church leaders and black smiths. FGDs and interview transcriptions were coded to identify common themes that were related to recognition, classification and naming of malaria illness, care-seeking behaviour and community treatment practices for severe malaria.
Parental prior knowledge of the disease was important as the majority of informants (23 out of 29) and participants (69 out of 97) mentioned four combined symptoms that were used to recognise severe malaria. The symptoms were excessive body hotness, convulsions, vomiting yellow things and bulging of the fontanelle. On the other hand, all informants mentioned two or more of symptoms associated with severe malaria. In all 12 FGDs, participants reported that treatment of severe malaria commenced with the family and moved into the community as the illness progressed. Although treatment of severe diarrheal effects, were common among the winamwanga, no rectal medicines to treat severe malaria were identified. Apart from the anti-malarial fansidar, which was mentioned by 23 in IDIs and 40 in FGDs, participants and informants also frequently mentioned indigenous medicines provided by healers and other respectable herbalists for repelling evil spirits, once a child had severe malaria. Mothers were the important arms for administration of ant-malarial drugs in the villages. Referrals began with healers to CHWs, where no CHWs existed healers directly referred sick children to the health facility.
Our findings showed that there is a precedent for rectal application of traditional medicine for childhood illness. Therefore rectal artesunate may be a well-received intervention in Nakonde District, provided effective sensitisation, to mothers and CHWs is given which will strengthen the health care delivery system at community level.
PMCID: PMC1079879  PMID: 15792501
5.  Patterns of Obesity Development before the Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes: The Whitehall II Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001602.
Examining patterns of change in body mass index (BMI) and other cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals during the years before they were diagnosed with diabetes, Kristine Færch and colleagues report that few of them experienced dramatic BMI changes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Patients with type 2 diabetes vary greatly with respect to degree of obesity at time of diagnosis. To address the heterogeneity of type 2 diabetes, we characterised patterns of change in body mass index (BMI) and other cardiometabolic risk factors before type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Methods and Findings
We studied 6,705 participants from the Whitehall II study, an observational prospective cohort study of civil servants based in London. White men and women, initially free of diabetes, were followed with 5-yearly clinical examinations from 1991–2009 for a median of 14.1 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 8.7–16.2 years). Type 2 diabetes developed in 645 (1,209 person-examinations) and 6,060 remained free of diabetes during follow-up (14,060 person-examinations). Latent class trajectory analysis of incident diabetes cases was used to identify patterns of pre-disease BMI. Associated trajectories of cardiometabolic risk factors were studied using adjusted mixed-effects models. Three patterns of BMI changes were identified. Most participants belonged to the “stable overweight” group (n = 604, 94%) with a relatively constant BMI level within the overweight category throughout follow-up. They experienced slightly worsening of beta cell function and insulin sensitivity from 5 years prior to diagnosis. A small group of “progressive weight gainers” (n = 15) exhibited a pattern of consistent weight gain before diagnosis. Linear increases in blood pressure and an exponential increase in insulin resistance a few years before diagnosis accompanied the weight gain. The “persistently obese” (n = 26) were severely obese throughout the whole 18 years before diabetes diagnosis. They experienced an initial beta cell compensation followed by loss of beta cell function, whereas insulin sensitivity was relatively stable. Since the generalizability of these findings is limited, the results need confirmation in other study populations.
Three patterns of obesity changes prior to diabetes diagnosis were accompanied by distinct trajectories of insulin resistance and other cardiometabolic risk factors in a white, British population. While these results should be verified independently, the great majority of patients had modest weight gain prior to diagnosis. These results suggest that strategies focusing on small weight reductions for the entire population may be more beneficial than predominantly focusing on weight loss for high-risk individuals.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Worldwide, more than 350 million people have diabetes, a metabolic disorder characterized by high amounts of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest form of diabetes) blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called adult-onset diabetes, can be controlled with diet and exercise, and with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that make cells more sensitive to insulin. Long-term complications, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes. The number of people with diabetes is expected to increase dramatically over the next decades, coinciding with rising obesity rates in many countries. To better understand diabetes development, to identify people at risk, and to find ways to prevent the disease are urgent public health goals.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is known that people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Because of this association, a common assumption is that people who experienced recent weight gain are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. In this prospective cohort study (an investigation that records the baseline characteristics of a group of people and then follows them to see who develops specific conditions), the researchers tested the hypothesis that substantial weight gain precedes a diagnosis of diabetes and explored more generally the patterns of body weight and composition in the years before people develop diabetes. They then examined whether changes in body weight corresponded with changes in other risk factors for diabetes (such as insulin resistance), lipid profiles and blood pressure.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers studied participants from the Whitehall II study, a prospective cohort study initiated in 1985 to investigate the socioeconomic inequalities in disease. Whitehall II enrolled more than 10,000 London-based government employees. Participants underwent regular health checks during which their weight and height were measured, blood tests were done, and they filled out questionnaires for other relevant information. From 1991 onwards, participants were tested every five years for diabetes. The 6,705 participants included in this study were initially free of diabetes, and most of them were followed for at least 14 years. During the follow-up, 645 participants developed diabetes, while 6,060 remained free of the disease.
The researchers used a statistical tool called “latent class trajectory analysis” to study patterns of changes in body mass index (BMI) in the years before people developed diabetes. BMI is a measure of human obesity based on a person's weight and height. Latent class trajectory analysis is an unbiased way to subdivide a number of people into groups that differ based on specified parameters. In this case, the researchers wanted to identify several groups among all the people who eventually developed diabetes each with a distinct pattern of BMI development. Having identified such groups, they also examined how a variety of tests associated with diabetes risk, and risks for heart disease and stroke changed in the identified groups over time.
They identified three different patterns of BMI changes in the 645 participants who developed diabetes. The vast majority (606 individuals, or 94%) belonged to a group they called “stable-overweight.” These people showed no dramatic change in their BMI in the years before they were diagnosed. They were overweight when they first entered the study and gained or lost little weight during the follow-up years. They showed only minor signs of insulin-resistance, starting five years before they developed diabetes. A second, much smaller group of 15 people gained weight consistently in the years before diagnosis. As they were gaining weight, these people also had raises in blood pressure and substantial gains in insulin resistance. The 26 remaining participants who formed the third group were persistently obese for the entire time they participated in the study, in some cases up to 18 years before they were diagnosed with diabetes. They had some signs of insulin resistance in the years before diagnosis, but not the substantial gain often seen as the hallmark of “pre-diabetes.”
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results suggest that diabetes development is a complicated process, and one that differs between individuals who end up with the disease. They call into question the common notion that most people who develop diabetes have recently gained a lot of weight or are obese. A substantial rise in insulin resistance, another established risk factor for diabetes, was only seen in the smallest of the groups, namely the people who gained weight consistently for years before they were diagnosed. When the scientists applied a commonly used predictor of diabetes called the “Framingham diabetes risk score” to their largest “stably overweight” group, they found that these people were not classified as having a particularly high risk, and that their risk scores actually declined in the last five years before their diabetes diagnosis. This suggests that predicting diabetes in this group might be difficult.
The researchers applied their methodology only to this one cohort of white civil servants in England. Before drawing more firm conclusions on the process of diabetes development, it will be important to test whether similar results are seen in other cohorts and among more diverse individuals. If the three groups identified here are found in other cohorts, another question is whether they are as unequal in size as in this example. And if they are, can the large group of stably overweight people be further subdivided in ways that suggest specific mechanisms of disease development? Even without knowing how generalizable the provocative findings of this study are, they should stimulate debate on how to identify people at risk for diabetes and how to prevent the disease or delay its onset.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public, including information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes; it includes people's stories about diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK also provides detailed information about diabetes for patients and carers, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes, and has a further selection of stories from people with diabetes; the charity Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
More information about the Whitehall II study is available
PMCID: PMC3921118  PMID: 24523667
6.  Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes 
Executive Summary
In June 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding strategies for successful management and treatment of diabetes. This project came about when the Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the Ministry’s newly released Diabetes Strategy.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified five key areas in which evidence was needed. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five areas: insulin pumps, behavioural interventions, bariatric surgery, home telemonitoring, and community based care. For each area, an economic analysis was completed where appropriate and is described in a separate report.
To review these titles within the Diabetes Strategy Evidence series, please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site,,
Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetics: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity: An Evidence-Based Summary
Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telemonitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario
The objective of this report is to determine whether behavioural interventions1 are effective in improving glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious chronic condition affecting millions of people worldwide and is the sixth leading cause of death in Canada. In 2005, an estimated 8.8% of Ontario’s population had diabetes, representing more than 816,000 Ontarians. The direct health care cost of diabetes was $1.76 billion in the year 2000 and is projected to rise to a total cost of $3.14 billion by 2016. Much of this cost arises from the serious long-term complications associated with the disease including: coronary heart disease, stroke, adult blindness, limb amputations and kidney disease.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90–95% of diabetes and while type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in people aged 40 years and older, prevalence in younger populations is increasing due to a rise in obesity and physical inactivity in children.
Data from the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) has shown that tight glycemic control can significantly reduce the risk of developing serious complications in type 2 diabetics. Despite physicians’ and patients’ knowledge of the importance of glycemic control, Canadian data has shown that only 38% of patients with diabetes have HbA1C levels in the optimal range of 7% or less. This statistic highlights the complexities involved in the management of diabetes, which is characterized by extensive patient involvement in addition to the support provided by physicians. An enormous demand is, therefore, placed on patients to self-manage the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of living with a chronic illness.
Despite differences in individual needs to cope with diabetes, there is general agreement for the necessity of supportive programs for patient self-management. While traditional programs were didactic models with the goal of improving patients’ knowledge of their disease, current models focus on behavioural approaches aimed at providing patients with the skills and strategies required to promote and change their behaviour.
Several meta-analyses and systematic reviews have demonstrated improved health outcomes with self-management support programs in type 2 diabetics. They have all, however, either looked at a specific component of self-management support programs (i.e. self-management education) or have been conducted in specific populations. Most reviews are also qualitative and do not clearly define the interventions of interest, making findings difficult to interpret. Moreover, heterogeneity in the interventions has led to conflicting evidence on the components of effective programs. There is thus much uncertainty regarding the optimal design and delivery of these programs by policymakers.
Evidence-Based Analysis of Effectiveness
Research Questions
Are behavioural interventions effective in improving glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes?
Is the effectiveness of the intervention impacted by intervention characteristics (e.g. delivery of intervention, length of intervention, mode of instruction, interventionist etc.)?
Inclusion Criteria
English Language
Published between January 1996 to August 2008
Type 2 diabetic adult population (>18 years)
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
Systematic reviews, or meta-analyses
Describing a multi-faceted self-management support intervention as defined by the 2007 Self-Management Mapping Guide (1)
Reporting outcomes of glycemic control (HbA1c) with extractable data
Studies with a minimum of 6-month follow up
Exclusion Criteria
Studies with a control group other than usual care
Studies with a sample size <30
Studies without a clearly defined intervention
Outcomes of Interest
Primary outcome: glycemic control (HbA1c)
Secondary outcomes: systolic blood pressure (SBP) control, lipid control, change in smoking status, weight change, quality of life, knowledge, self-efficacy, managing psychosocial aspects of diabetes, assessing dissatisfaction and readiness to change, and setting and achieving diabetes goals.
Search Strategy
A search was performed in OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published between January 1996 and August 2008. Abstracts were reviewed by a single author and studies meeting the inclusion criteria outlined above were obtained. Data on population characteristics, glycemic control outcomes, and study design were extracted. Reference lists were also checked for relevant studies. The quality of the evidence was assessed as being either high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology.
Summary of Findings
The search identified 638 citations published between 1996 and August 2008, of which 12 met the inclusion criteria and one was a meta-analysis (Gary et al. 2003). The remaining 11 studies were RCTs (9 were used in the meta-analysis) and only one was defined as small (total sample size N=47).
Summary of Participant Demographics across studies
A total of 2,549 participants were included in the 11 identified studies. The mean age of participants reported was approximately 58 years and the mean duration of diabetes was approximately 6 years. Most studies reported gender with a mean percentage of females of approximately 67%. Of the eleven studies, two focused only on women and four included only Hispanic individuals. All studies evaluated type 2 diabetes patients exclusively.
Study Characteristics
The studies were conducted between 2002 and 2008. Approximately six of 11 studies were carried out within the USA, with the remaining studies conducted in the UK, Sweden, and Israel (sample size ranged from 47 to 824 participants). The quality of the studies ranged from moderate to low with four of the studies being of moderate quality and the remaining seven of low quality (based on the Consort Checklist). Differences in quality were mainly due to methodological issues such as inadequate description of randomization, sample size calculation allocation concealment, blinding and uncertainty of the use of intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis. Patients were recruited from several settings: six studies from primary or general medical practices, three studies from the community (e.g. via advertisements), and two from outpatient diabetes clinics. A usual care control group was reported in nine of 11 of the studies and two studies reported some type of minimal diabetes care in addition to usual care for the control group.
Intervention Characteristics
All of the interventions examined in the studies were mapped to the 2007 Self-management Mapping Guide. The interventions most often focused on problem solving, goal setting and encouraging participants to engage in activities that protect and promote health (e.g. modifying behaviour, change in diet, and increase physical activity). All of the studies examined comprehensive interventions targeted at least two self-care topics (e.g. diet, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, foot care, etc.). Despite the homogeneity in the aims of the interventions, there was substantial clinical heterogeneity in other intervention characteristics such as duration, intensity, setting, mode of delivery (group vs. individual), interventionist, and outcomes of interest (discussed below).
Duration, Intensity and Mode of Delivery
Intervention durations ranged from 2 days to 1 year, with many falling into the range of 6 to 10 weeks. The rest of the interventions fell into categories of ≤ 2 weeks (2 studies), 6 months (2 studies), or 1 year (3 studies). Intensity of the interventions varied widely from 6 hours over 2 days, to 52 hours over 1 year; however, the majority consisted of interventions of 6 to 15 hours. Both individual and group sessions were used to deliver interventions. Group counselling was used in five studies as a mode of instruction, three studies used both individual and group sessions, and one study used individual sessions as its sole mode of instruction. Three studies also incorporated the use of telephone support as part of the intervention.
Interventionists and Setting
The following interventionists were reported (highest to lowest percentage, categories not mutually exclusive): nurse (36%), dietician (18%), physician (9%), pharmacist (9%), peer leader/community worker (18%), and other (36%). The ‘other’ category included interventionists such as consultants and facilitators with unspecified professional backgrounds. The setting of most interventions was community-based (seven studies), followed by primary care practices (three studies). One study described an intervention conducted in a pharmacy setting.
Duration of follow up of the studies ranged from 6 months to 8 years with a median follow-up duration of 12 months. Nine studies followed up patients at a minimum of two time points. Despite clear reporting of outcomes at follow up time points, there was poor reporting on whether the follow up was measured from participant entry into study or from end of intervention. All studies reported measures of glycemic control, specifically HbA1c levels. BMI was measured in five studies, while body weight was reported in two studies. Cholesterol was examined in three studies and blood pressure reduction in two. Smoking status was only examined in one of the studies. Additional outcomes examined in the trials included patient satisfaction, quality of life, diabetes knowledge, diabetes medication reduction, and behaviour modification (i.e. daily consumption of fruits/vegetables, exercise etc). Meta-analysis of the studies identified a moderate but significant reduction in HbA1c levels -0.44% 95%CI: -0.60, -0.29) for behavioural interventions in comparison to usual care for adults with type 2 diabetes. Subgroup analyses suggested the largest effects in interventions which were of at least duration and interventions in diabetics with higher baseline HbA1c (≥9.0). The quality of the evidence according to GRADE for the overall estimate was moderate and the quality of evidence for the subgroup analyses was identified as low.
Summary of Meta-Analysis of Studies Investigating the Effectiveness of Behavioural Interventions on HbA1c in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
Based on one study
Based on moderate quality evidence, behavioural interventions as defined by the 2007 Self-management mapping guide (Government of Victoria, Australia) produce a moderate reduction in HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes compared with usual care.
Based on low quality evidence, the interventions with the largest effects are those:
- in diabetics with higher baseline HbA1c (≥9.0)
- in which the interventions were of at least 1 year in duration
PMCID: PMC3377516  PMID: 23074526
7.  Setting-up nurse-led pilot clinics for the management of non-communicable diseases at primary health care level in resource-limited settings of Africa  
This article describes the setting-up process for nurse-led pilot clinics for the management of four chronic diseases: asthma, type 2 diabetes mellitus, epilepsy and hypertension at the primary health care level in urban and rural Cameroon.
The Biyem-Assi urban and the Bafut rural health districts in Cameroon served as settings for this study. International and local guidelines were identified and adapted to the country’s circumstances. Training and follow-up tools were developed and nurses trained by experienced physicians in the management of the four conditions. Basic diagnostic and follow-up materials were provided and relevant essential drugs made available.
Forty six nurses attended six training courses. By the second year of activity, three and four clinics were operational in the urban and the rural areas respectively. By then, 925 patients had been registered in the clinics. This represented a 68.5% increase from the first year. While the rural clinics relied mainly on essential drugs for their prescriptions, a prescription pattern combining generic and proprietary drugs was observed in the urban clinics.
In the quest for cost-effective health care for NCD in sub-Saharan Africa, rethinking health workforce and service delivery has relevance. Nurse-led clinics, algorithm driven service delivery stands as alternatives to overcome the shortage of trained physicians and other issues relating to access to care.
PMCID: PMC2984281  PMID: 21532719
chronic diseases ;  nurse-led clinics ;  diabetes ;  hypertension ;  epilepsy ;  asthma ;  primary health care ;  Cameroon ;  sub-Saharan Africa
8.  Determining adult type 2 diabetes-related health care needs in an indigenous population from rural Guatemala: a mixed-methods preliminary study 
In Guatemala, diabetes is an emerging public health concern. Guatemala has one of the largest indigenous populations in Latin America, and this population frequently does not access the formal health care system. Therefore, knowledge about the emergence of diabetes in this population is limited.
Interview participants (n=23) were recruited from a convenience sample of indigenous adults with type 2 diabetes at one rural diabetes clinic in Guatemala. A structured interview was used to assess knowledge about diabetes and its complications; access to diabetes-related health care and treatment; dietary and lifestyle changes; and family and social supports for individuals living with diabetes. Interviews were supplemented with two group interviews with community leaders and health care providers. Thematic analysis was used to produce insights into diabetes knowledge, attitudes, and practices. In addition, a chart review of the clinic’s electronic medical record identified all adult patients (n=80) presenting in one calendar year for a first-time diabetic consultation. Sociodemographic and clinical variables were extracted and summarized from these records.
Salient demographic factors in both the structured interview and chart review samples included low educational levels and high indigenous language preference. In the interview sample, major gaps in biomedical knowledge about diabetes included understanding the causes, chronicity, and long-term end-organ complications of diabetes. Medication costs, medical pluralism, and limited social supports for dietary and lifestyles changes were major practical barriers to disease management. Quantitative data from medical records review revealed high rates of poor glycemic control, overweight and obesity, and medication prescription.
This study provides a preliminary sketch of type 2 diabetes in an indigenous Guatemalan population. Combined qualitative and quantitative data point towards particular needs for implementation and future research, including the need to address gaps in diabetes knowledge, to improve social support systems, and to address the cost barriers associated with disease treatment.
PMCID: PMC3546905  PMID: 23260013
Type 2 diabetes; Indigenous health; Guatemala; Non-communicable disease
9.  A self-evaluation tool for integrated care services: the Development Model for Integrated Care applied in practice 
The purpose of the workshop is to show the applications of the Development Model for Integrated Care (DMIC) in practice. This relatively new and validated model, can be used by integrated care practices to evaluate their integrated care, to assess their phase of development and reveal improvement areas. In the workshop the results of the use of the model in three types of integrated care settings in the Netherlands will be presented. Participants are offered practical instruments based on the validated DMIC to use in their own setting and will be introduced to the webbased tool.
To integrate care from multiple providers into a coherent and streamlined client-focused service, a large number of activities and agreements have to be implemented like streamlining information flows and adequate transfers of clients. In the large range of possible activities it is often not clear what essential activities are and where to start or continue. Also, knowledge about how to further develop integrated care services is needed. The Development Model for Integrated Care (DMIC), based on PhD research of Mirella Minkman, describes nine clusters containing in total 89 elements that contribute to the integration of care. The clusters are named: ‘client-centeredness’, ‘delivery system’, ‘performance management’, ‘quality of care’, ‘result-focused learning’, ‘interprofessional teamwork’, ‘roles and tasks’, ‘commitment’, and ‘transparant entrepreneurship’ [1–3]. In 2011 a new digital webbased self-evolution tool which contains the 89 elements grouped in nine clusters was developed. The DMIC also describes four phases of development [4]. The model is empirically validated in practice by assessing the relevance and implementation of the elements and development phases in 84 integrated care services in The Netherlands: in stroke, acute myocardial infarct (AMI), and dementia services. The validation studies are recently published [5, 6]. In 2011 also other integrated care services started using the model [7]. Vilans developed a digital web-based self-evaluation tool for integrated care services based on the DMIC. A palliative care network, four diabetes services, a youth care service and a network for autism used the self-evaluation tool to evaluate the development of their integrated care service. Because of its generic character, the model and tool are believed to be also interesting internationally.
Data sources
In the workshop we will present the results of three studies in integrated diabetes, youth and palliative care. The three projects consist of multiple steps, see below. Workshop participants could also work with the DMIC following these steps.
One: Preparation of the digital self-evolution tool for integrated care services
Although they are very different, the three integrated care services all wanted to gain insight in their development and improvement opportunities. We tailored the digital self-evaluation tool for each specific integrated care services, but for all the basis was the DMIC. Personal accounts for the digital DMIC self-evalution survey were sent to multiple partners working in each integrated care service (4–16 partners).
Two: Use of the online self-evaluation tool each partner of the local integrated care setting evaluated the integrated care by filling in the web-based questionnaire. The tool consists of three parts (A-C) named: general information about the integrated care practice (A); the clusters and elements of the DMIC (B); and the four phases of development (C). The respondents rated the relevance and presence of each element in their integrated care practice. Respondents were asked to estimate in which phase of development their thought their service was.
Three: Analysing the results
Advisers from Vilans, the Centre of excellence for long-term care in the Netherlands, analysed the self-evolution results in cooperation with the integrated care coordinators. The results show the total amount of implemented integrated care elements per cluster in spider graphs and the development phase as calculated by the DMIC model. Suggestions for further development of the integrated care services were analysed and reported.
Four: Discussing the implications for further development
In a workshop with the local integrated care partners the results of the self-evaluation were presented and discussed. We noticed remarkable results and highlight elements for further development. In addition, we gave advice for further development appropriate to the development phase of the integrated care service. Furthermore, the professionals prioritized the elements and decided which elements to start working on. This resulted in a (quality improvement) plan for the further development of the integrated care service.
Five: Reporting results
In a report all the results of the survey (including consensus scores) and the workshops came together. The integrated care coordinators stated that the reports really helped them to assess their improvement strategy. Also, there was insight in the development phase of their service which gave tools for further development.
Case description
The three cases presented are a palliative network, an integrated diabetes services and an integrated care network for youth in the Netherlands. The palliative care network wanted to reflect on their current development, to build a guiding framework for further development of the network. About sixteen professionals within the network worked with the digital self-evaluation tool and the DMIC: home care organisations, welfare organizations, hospice centres, health care organisations, community organizations.
For diabetes care, a Dutch health care insurance company wished to gain insight in the development of the contracted integrated care services to stimulate further development of the services. Professionals of three diabetes integrated care services were invited to fill in the digital self-evaluation tool. Of each integrated care service professionals like a general practitioner, a diabetes nurse, a medical specialist, a dietician and a podiatrist were invited. In youth care, a local health organisation wondered whether the DMIC could be helpful to visualize the results of youth integrated care services at process- and organisational level. The goal of the project was to define indicators at a process- and organisational level for youth care services based on the DMIC. In the future, these indicators might be used to evaluate youth care integrated care services and improve the quality of youth care within the Netherlands.
Conclusions and discussion
It is important for the quality of integrated care services that the involved coordinators, managers and professionals are aware of the development process of the integrated care service and that they focus on elements which can further develop and improve their integrated care. However, we noticed that integrated care services in the Netherlands experience difficulties in developing their integrated care service. It is often not clear what essential activities are to work on and how to further develop the integrated care service. A guiding framework for the development of integrated care was missing. The DMIC model has been developed for that reason and offers a useful tool for assessment, self-evaluation or improvement of integrated care services in practice. The model has been validated for AMI, dementia and stroke services. The latest new studies in diabetes, palliative care and youth care gave further insight in the generic character of the DMIC. Based on these studies it can be assumed that the DMIC can be used for multiple types of integrated care services. The model is assumed to be interesting for an international audience. Improving integrated care is a complex topic in a large number of countries; the DMIC is also based on the international literature. Dutch integrated care coordinators stated that the DMIC helped them to assess their integrated care development in practice and supported them in obtaining ideas for expanding and improving their integrated care activities.
The web-based self-evaluation tool focuses on a process- and organisational level of integrated care. Also, the self assessed development phase can be compared to the development phase as calculated by the DMIC tool. The cases showed this is fruitful input for discussions. When using the tool, the results can also be used in quality policy reports and improvement plans. The web-based tool is being tested at this moment in practice, but in San Marino we can present the latest webversion and demonstrate with a short video how to use the tool and model. During practical exercises in the workshop the participants will experience how the application of the DMIC can work for them in practice or in research. For integrated care researchers and policy makers, the DMIC questionnaire and tool is a promising method for further research and policy plans in integrated care.
PMCID: PMC3617779
development model for integrated care; development of integrated care services; implementation and improvement of integrated care; self evaluation
10.  Health literacy of common ocular diseases in Nepal 
BMC Ophthalmology  2014;14:2.
Poor health literacy is often a key cause of lack of or delayed uptake of health care services. The aim of this study was to assess the health literacy of common ocular diseases, namely cataract, glaucoma, night blindness, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy in Nepal.
A cross sectional study of 1741 participants randomly selected from non-triaged attendants in the outpatient queue at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, a semi urban general population of Bhaktapur district of Kathmandu Valley and patients attending rural outreach clinics. Participants responded to trained enumerators using verbally administered, semi structured questionnaires on their awareness and knowledge of cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, night blindness, and trachoma.
The awareness of cataract across the entire sample was 49.6%, night blindness was 48.3%, diabetic retinopathy was 29%, glaucoma was 21.3% and trachoma was 6.1%. Patients presenting to rural outreach clinics had poorer awareness of cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, night blindness and trachoma compared to those from a semi-urban community and an urban eye hospital (p<0.05), Old age was directly associated with poorer awareness of cataract, glaucoma, night blindness, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy (p<0.05). Female gender was associated with lower awareness of cataract, glaucoma, night blindness and trachoma (p<0.05). Literacy was associated with greater awareness of cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, night blindness and trachoma (p<0.05). Higher education was significantly associated with greater awareness of cataract, night blindness and trachoma (p<0.05). Multivariate analysis found that the awareness of common ocular diseases was significantly associated with level of education (p<0.05). Similarly, awareness of cataract, glaucoma, trachoma and night blindness was associated with female gender (p<0.05) whereas awareness of cataract, night blindness, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy was associated with age (p<0.05) but the awareness glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy was associated with camps.
Low awareness of common ocular conditions is associated with factors such as female gender, old age, lower levels of education and rural habitation. A would be successful health promotion programs should specifically target health determinants to promote health literacy and to ensure timely utilization of eye care services.
PMCID: PMC3898060  PMID: 24400641
Cataract; Diabetic retinopathy; Glaucoma; Health literacy; Nepal; Night blindness; Trachoma
11.  Rotating Night Shift Work and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Two Prospective Cohort Studies in Women 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001141.
An Pan and colleagues examined data from two Nurses' Health Studies and found that extended periods of rotating night shift work were associated with a modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, partly mediated through body weight.
Rotating night shift work disrupts circadian rhythms and has been associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and glucose dysregulation. However, its association with type 2 diabetes remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate this association in two cohorts of US women.
Methods and Findings
We followed 69,269 women aged 42–67 in Nurses' Health Study I (NHS I, 1988–2008), and 107,915 women aged 25–42 in NHS II (1989–2007) without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. Participants were asked how long they had worked rotating night shifts (defined as at least three nights/month in addition to days and evenings in that month) at baseline. This information was updated every 2–4 years in NHS II. Self-reported type 2 diabetes was confirmed by a validated supplementary questionnaire. We documented 6,165 (NHS I) and 3,961 (NHS II) incident type 2 diabetes cases during the 18–20 years of follow-up. In the Cox proportional models adjusted for diabetes risk factors, duration of shift work was monotonically associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in both cohorts. Compared with women who reported no shift work, the pooled hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for participants with 1–2, 3–9, 10–19, and ≥20 years of shift work were 1.05 (1.00–1.11), 1.20 (1.14–1.26), 1.40 (1.30–1.51), and 1.58 (1.43–1.74, p-value for trend <0.001), respectively. Further adjustment for updated body mass index attenuated the association, and the pooled hazard ratios were 1.03 (0.98–1.08), 1.06 (1.01–1.11), 1.10 (1.02–1.18), and 1.24 (1.13–1.37, p-value for trend <0.001).
Our results suggest that an extended period of rotating night shift work is associated with a modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, which appears to be partly mediated through body weight. Proper screening and intervention strategies in rotating night shift workers are needed for prevention of diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Around 346 million people worldwide have diabetes—a chronic disease affecting blood glucose levels, which over time may lead to serious damage in many body systems. In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from consequences of high blood sugar, with more than 80% of deaths occurring in low-and middle-income countries. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of people with diabetes and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity, which causes the body to use insulin ineffectively. One strategy in the public health response to the increasing prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes is to focus on the prevention and management of obesity by targeting risk factors of obesity.
Previous studies have suggested that rotating night shift work, which is common and becoming increasingly prevalent in countries worldwide, is associated with an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome, conditions closely related to type 2 diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some studies have investigated the association between rotating night shift work and type 2 diabetes but have experienced methodological problems (such as minimal information on the rotating shift work, small sample sizes, and limited study populations), which make interpretation of the results difficult. In this study, the researchers attempted to overcome these methodological issues by prospectively examining the relationship between duration of rotating night shift work and risk of incident type 2 diabetes and, also if the duration of shift work was associated with greater weight gain, in two large cohorts of women in the United States.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data from the Nurses' Health Study I (NHS I, established in 1976 and included 121,704 women) and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II, established in 1989 and included 116,677 women), in which participating women completed regular questionnaires about their lifestyle practices and the development of chronic diseases. In both studies, the women also gave information about how long they had done rotating night shifts work (defined as at least three nights/month in addition to 19 days and evenings in that month), and this information was updated at regular intervals over the study follow-up period (18 years). The comparison group was women who did not report a history of rotating night shift work.
To assess the incidence of diabetes in both cohorts, the researchers sent a supplementary questionnaire to women who reported a diagnosis of diabetes, which asked about the symptoms, diagnostic tests, and medical management: if at least one of the National Diabetes Data Group criteria was reported, the researchers considered confirmed a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. The researchers then used statistical methods (time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models) to estimate the hazard ratios of the chance of women working rotating shifts developing type 2 diabetes as a ratio of the chance of women not working rotating shifts developing diabetes.
The researchers found that in NHS I, 6,165 women developed type 2 diabetes and in NHS II 3,961 women developed type 2 diabetes. Using their statistical models, the researchers found that the duration of rotating night shift work was strongly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in both cohorts. The researchers found that in both cohorts, compared with women who reported no rotating night shift work, the HR of women developing type 2 diabetes, increased with the numbers of years working rotating shifts (the HRs of working rotating shifts for 1–2, 3–9, 10–19, and ≥20 years were 0.99, 1.17, 1.42, and 1.64, respectively, in NHS I, and in NHS II, 1.13, 1.34, 1.76, and 2.50, respectively). However, these associations were slightly weaker after the authors took other factors into consideration, except for body mass index (BMI).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in these women, there is a positive association between rotating night shift work and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, long duration of shift work may also be associated with greater weight gain. Although these findings need to be confirmed in men and other ethnic groups, because a large proportion of the working population is involved in some kind of permanent night and rotating night shift work, these findings are of potential public health significance. Additional preventative strategies in rotating night shift workers should therefore be considered.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Mika Kivimki and colleagues
Wikipedia has information about the Nurses’ Health study (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
Detailed information about the Nurses’ Health Study is available
The World Health Organization provides comprehensive information about all kinds of diabetes
For more information about diabetes that is useful for patients see Diabetes UK
PMCID: PMC3232220  PMID: 22162955
12.  Prevalence, determinants and co-morbidities of chronic kidney disease among First Nations adults with diabetes: results from the CIRCLE study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:57.
Indigenous peoples worldwide are experiencing elevated rates of type 2 diabetes and its complications. To better understand the disproportionate burden of diabetic end stage renal disease (ESRD) among Canadian First Nations people (FN), we examined prevalence, determinants, and co-morbidities of chronic kidney disease (CKD) within this population.
The 2007 Canadian FN Diabetes Clinical Management and Epidemiologic (CIRCLE) study conducted a cross-sectional national medical chart audit of 885 FN adults with type 2 diabetes to assess quality of diabetes care. In this sub-study, participants were divided by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR in ml/min/1.73 m2), as well as by albuminuria level in those with eGFRs = > 60. Those with eGFRs = > 60 and negative albuminuria were considered to have normal/near normal kidney function (non-CKD). Using univariate and logistic regression analysis, they were compared with participants having eGFRs = > 60 plus albuminuria (CKD-alb) and with participants having eGFRs <60 (CKD-eGFR <60).
While 84.5% of total CIRCLE participants had eGFRs = > 60, almost 60% of the latter had CKD-alb. Of the 15.5% of total participants with CKD-eGFR <60, 80% had eGFRs 30–60 (Stage 3 CKD) but over 10% (1.6% of total participants) had ESRD. Independent determinants of CKD-alb were male gender and increasing diabetes duration, systolic BP, A1C and total cholesterol. These plus smoking rates also discriminated between FN with micro- and macro-albuminuria. Independent determinants of CKD-eGFR <60 were increasing age at diabetes diagnosis, diabetes duration, total cholesterol and systolic BP. However, participants with CKD-eGFR <60 also displayed a decreasing mean age of diabetes diagnosis as eGFR declined. Micro-vascular co-morbidities were significantly associated with CKD-alb but both micro- and macro-vascular co-morbidities were associated with CKD-eGFR <60. Only 35-40% of participants with CKD used insulin.
High prevalences of CKD-alb and early CKD-eGFR <60 among diabetic FN were largely related to modifiable and treatable risk factors. However, an earlier age of diabetes diagnosis and longer duration of diabetes characterized those with ESRD. These findings suggest that a failure to meet current standards of diabetes care interacting with an age-related survival benefit contribute to the disproportionate burden of ESRD among FN and possibly other Indigenous peoples.
PMCID: PMC3438064  PMID: 22776036
Indigenous peoples; Aboriginal; First Nations; Diabetes; Chronic kidney disease; End stage renal disease; Risk factors.
13.  Markers of Dysglycaemia and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in People without Diabetes: Reykjavik Prospective Study and Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000278.
Associations between circulating markers of dysglycaemia and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk in people without diabetes have not been reliably characterised. We report new data from a prospective study and a systematic review to help quantify these associations.
Methods and Findings
Fasting and post-load glucose levels were measured in 18,569 participants in the population-based Reykjavik study, yielding 4,664 incident CHD outcomes during 23.5 y of mean follow-up. In people with no known history of diabetes at the baseline survey, the hazard ratio (HR) for CHD, adjusted for several conventional risk factors, was 2.37 (95% CI 1.79–3.14) in individuals with fasting glucose ≥7.0 mmol/l compared to those <7 mmol/l. At fasting glucose values below 7 mmol/l, adjusted HRs were 0.95 (0.89–1.01) per 1 mmol/l higher fasting glucose and 1.03 (1.01–1.05) per 1 mmol/l higher post-load glucose. HRs for CHD risk were generally modest and nonsignificant across tenths of glucose values below 7 mmol/l. We did a meta-analysis of 26 additional relevant prospective studies identified in a systematic review of Western cohort studies that recorded fasting glucose, post-load glucose, or glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. In this combined analysis, in which participants with a self-reported history of diabetes and/or fasting blood glucose ≥7 mmol/l at baseline were excluded, relative risks for CHD, adjusted for several conventional risk factors, were: 1.06 (1.00–1.12) per 1 mmol/l higher fasting glucose (23 cohorts, 10,808 cases, 255,171 participants); 1.05 (1.03–1.07) per 1 mmol/l higher post-load glucose (15 cohorts, 12,652 cases, 102,382 participants); and 1.20 (1.10–1.31) per 1% higher HbA1c (9 cohorts, 1639 cases, 49,099 participants).
In the Reykjavik Study and a meta-analysis of other Western prospective studies, fasting and post-load glucose levels were modestly associated with CHD risk in people without diabetes. The meta-analysis suggested a somewhat stronger association between HbA1c levels and CHD risk.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Among people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (the commonest type of diabetes worldwide), poor management or lack of appropriate treatment can lead to long-term complications resulting from persistently high sugar levels in the blood. The long-term complications of type 2 diabetes are generally divided into two main groups: microvascular problems (such as nerve damage, kidney disease, and eye disorders), and macrovascular disease (such as heart disease, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease). A major goal of diabetes treatment is to keep glucose control as normal as possible through diet, weight control, exercise, and pharmacological treatments. However, it is unclear whether the link between high blood sugar and macrovascular disease (principally heart disease and strokes) also holds for people who have slightly higher than normal blood sugar levels, but in whom this level does not reach the diabetic threshold. Some previous research studies have suggested that a continuous relationship exists between blood sugar level and the risk of heart disease across the spectrum, i.e., below the diabetic threshold as well as above it. If such a relationship were confirmed this might have important implications for the management of high blood sugar levels even among people who would not normally meet the usual definition for a diagnosis of diabetes (the “diabetic threshold”).
Why Was This Study Done?
Studies which examine the risk of serious, but relatively common, outcomes (such as a nonfatal heart attack or fatal heart disease), often suffer from insufficient statistical power: a large number of participants need to be recruited, and followed up over a long time, to find out whether certain factors measured at baseline (e.g., fasting glucose) are indeed associated with a particular outcome (e.g., heart attack) or not during follow up. Given the inconclusive nature of some previous studies in this area, the researchers who carried out this work wanted to gather evidence from a large prospective cohort, and a reappraisal of all existing evidence, in relation to the possible link between high blood sugar and risk of heart disease in people without diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In this study, the researchers report results from a prospective population-based study (in which participants are followed forward in time) from Reykjavik, Iceland. In the study, men and women without history of heart disease aged between 31 and 57 in 1966 were first invited to join the cohort, and were followed forward in time using national registries that recorded deaths (and causes of death), and incidence of heart disease. A total of 8,888 male and 9,681 female participants were recruited. At baseline, laboratory measurements were taken to record blood sugar levels using two different methods: fasting blood glucose and post-load glucose. Among the group of participants, 4,664 people were recorded as having either a nonfatal heart attack or fatal heart disease, during approximately 23 years of follow-up. In addition, the researchers attempted to identify from the published medical literature previous prospective studies conducted in Western populations that had looked at the association between blood sugar levels and risk of coronary heart disease. They requested, and obtained, re-analyses of data conducted in accordance with a common protocol for most of the identified studies and then analysed these, together with the results of the Reykjavik cohort, to produce a summary estimate (meta-analysis) of the association between blood sugar levels and risk of coronary heart disease in people without diabetes.
In the Reykjavik cohort, the researchers confirmed an increased risk of coronary heart disease among individuals with blood sugar above the diabetic threshold, as compared to those below it. However, when they looked at blood sugar in people below the diabetic threshold, they found no evidence that higher levels were strongly linked with greater risk of coronary heart disease. This held for both methods of measuring blood sugar levels (fasting and post-load).
In the meta-analysis, the researchers obtained data for 27 different studies, comprising 303,961 participants and 16,982 cases of heart disease. In this meta-analysis, very small increases in risk of heart disease were found with higher levels of blood sugar, when measured using fasting blood glucose or post-load glucose. However, studies using glycated haemoglobin (a measure of average sugar levels over the past 1–3 months or so) found this measure to be associated with a somewhat higher risk of heart disease.
What Do these Findings Mean?
In this prospective cohort and wider meta-analysis, the researchers did not find evidence of a strong or continuous association between blood sugar levels and risk of heart disease amongst people without diabetes. The prospective study, and analysis of other cohorts, was large, but only looked at participants of European decent, so it is not clear whether the findings will also hold for non-European groups.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Information is available from the US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse about diabetes, heart disease, and stroke
Centers for Disease Control provides information for the public and professionals about diabetes on their diabetes minisite
Medline Plus encyclopedia has an entry about coronary heart disease
PMCID: PMC2876150  PMID: 20520805
14.  The Contribution of Geography to Disparities in Preventable Hospitalisations between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97892.
To quantify the independent roles of geography and Indigenous status in explaining disparities in Potentially Preventable Hospital (PPH) admissions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Design, setting and participants
Analysis of linked hospital admission data for New South Wales (NSW), Australia, for the period July 1 2003 to June 30 2008.
Main outcome measures
Age-standardised admission rates, and rate ratios adjusted for age, sex and Statistical Local Area (SLA) of residence using multilevel models.
PPH diagnoses accounted for 987,604 admissions in NSW over the study period, of which 3.7% were for Indigenous people. The age-standardised PPH admission rate was 76.5 and 27.3 per 1,000 for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people respectively. PPH admission rates in Indigenous people were 2.16 times higher than in non-Indigenous people of the same age group and sex who lived in the same SLA. The largest disparities in PPH admission rates were seen for diabetes complications, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and rheumatic heart disease. Both rates of PPH admission in Indigenous people, and the disparity in rates between Indigenous than non-Indigenous people, varied significantly by SLA, with greater disparities seen in regional and remote areas than in major cities.
Higher rates of PPH admission among Indigenous people are not simply a function of their greater likelihood of living in rural and remote areas. The very considerable geographic variation in the disparity in rates of PPH admission between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people indicates that there is potential to reduce unwarranted variation by characterising outlying areas which contribute the most to this disparity.
PMCID: PMC4032338  PMID: 24859265
15.  Low back pain risk factors in a large rural Australian Aboriginal community. An opportunity for managing co-morbidities? 
Low back pain (LBP) is the most prevalent musculo-skeletal condition in rural and remote Australian Aboriginal communities. Smoking, physical inactivity and obesity are also prevalent amongst Indigenous people contributing to lifestyle diseases and concurrently to the high burden of low back pain.
This paper aims to examine the association between LBP and modifiable risk factors in a large rural Indigenous community as a basis for informing a musculo-skeletal and related health promotion program.
A community Advisory Group (CAG) comprising Elders, Aboriginal Health Workers, academics, nurses, a general practitioner and chiropractors assisted in the development of measures to assess self-reported musculo-skeletal conditions including LBP risk factors. The Kempsey survey included a community-based survey administered by Aboriginal Health Workers followed by a clinical assessment conducted by chiropractors.
Age and gender characteristics of this Indigenous sample (n = 189) were comparable to those reported in previous Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) studies of the broader Indigenous population. A history of traumatic events was highly prevalent in the community, as were occupational risk factors. Thirty-four percent of participants reported a previous history of LBP. Sporting injuries were associated with multiple musculo-skeletal conditions, including LBP. Those reporting high levels of pain were often overweight or obese and obesity was associated with self-reported low back strain. Common barriers to medical management of LBP included an attitude of being able to cope with pain, poor health, and the lack of affordable and appropriate health care services.
Though many of the modifiable risk factors known to be associated with LBP were highly prevalent in this study, none of these were statistically associated with LBP.
Addressing particular modifiable risk factors associated with LBP such as smoking, physical inactivity and obesity may also present a wider opportunity to prevent and manage the high burden of illness imposed by co-morbidities such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC1277832  PMID: 16197555
Low back pain; risk factors; chiropractic; general health; Australian; Aboriginal; Indigenous
16.  Patient and Parent Views on a Web 2.0 Diabetes Portal—the Management Tool, the Generator, and the Gatekeeper: Qualitative Study 
The Internet has undergone rapid development, with significant impact on social life and on modes of communication. Modern management of type 1 diabetes requires that patients have access to continuous support and learning opportunities. Although Web 2.0 resources can provide this support, few pediatric clinics offer it as part of routine diabetes care.
We aimed to explore patients’ and parents’ attitudes toward a local Web 2.0 portal tailored to young patients with type 1 diabetes and their parents, with social networking tools such as message boards and blogs, locally produced self-care and treatment information, and interactive pedagogic devices. Opportunities and obstacles to the implementation of Web 2.0 applications in clinical practice were sought.
Participants were 16 mothers, 3 fathers, and 5 young patients (ages 11-18 years; median 14 years) who each wrote an essay on their experience using the portal, irrespective of frequency and/or their success in using it. Two main guiding questions were asked. A qualitative content analysis was conducted of the essays as a whole.
Three main categories of portal users’ attitudes were found; we named them “the management tool,” “the generator,” and “the gatekeeper.” One category was related to the management tool functionality of the portal, and a wide range of concrete examples was found regarding useful facts and updates. Being enabled to search when necessary and find reliable information provided by local clinicians was regarded as a great advantage, facilitating a feeling of security and being in control. Finding answers to difficult-to-ask questions, questions portal users did not know they had before, and questions focusing on sensitive areas such as anxiety and fear, was also an important feature. A second category was related to the generator function in that visiting the portal could generate more information than expected, which could lead to increased use. Active message boards and chat rooms were found to have great value for enhancing mediation of third party peer-to-peer information. A certain level of active users from peer families and visible signs of their activity were considered necessary to attract returning users. A third category was related to the gatekeeper function of the password requirement, which created various access problems. This and other unsuccessful experiences caused users to drop the portal. A largely open portal was suggested to enhance use by those associated with the child with diabetes, such as school personnel, relatives, friends and others, and also by young users somewhat unwilling to self-identify with the disease.
Web 2.0 services have great potential for supporting parents and patients with type 1 diabetes by enhancing their information retrieval and disease management. Well-developed services, such as this one, may generate continued use and should, therefore, be carefully maintained and updated by health care professionals who are alert and active on the site with new information and updates. Login procedures should be simple and minimized as much as possible. The education of clinical practitioners regarding the use of Web 2.0 resources needs more attention.
PMCID: PMC2956228  PMID: 20511179
Web 2.0; eHealth; childhood chronic disease; type 1 diabetes; self-care; disease management; patient information; apomediation; networking; social media; learning; health care professionals; children; adolescents; parents
17.  Risk Stratification by Self-Measured Home Blood Pressure across Categories of Conventional Blood Pressure: A Participant-Level Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001591.
Jan Staessen and colleagues compare the risk of cardiovascular, cardiac, or cerebrovascular events in patients with elevated office blood pressure vs. self-measured home blood pressure.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
The Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010 reported that hypertension is worldwide the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, causing 9.4 million deaths annually. We examined to what extent self-measurement of home blood pressure (HBP) refines risk stratification across increasing categories of conventional blood pressure (CBP).
Methods and Findings
This meta-analysis included 5,008 individuals randomly recruited from five populations (56.6% women; mean age, 57.1 y). All were not treated with antihypertensive drugs. In multivariable analyses, hazard ratios (HRs) associated with 10-mm Hg increases in systolic HBP were computed across CBP categories, using the following systolic/diastolic CBP thresholds (in mm Hg): optimal, <120/<80; normal, 120–129/80–84; high-normal, 130–139/85–89; mild hypertension, 140–159/90–99; and severe hypertension, ≥160/≥100.
Over 8.3 y, 522 participants died, and 414, 225, and 194 had cardiovascular, cardiac, and cerebrovascular events, respectively. In participants with optimal or normal CBP, HRs for a composite cardiovascular end point associated with a 10-mm Hg higher systolic HBP were 1.28 (1.01–1.62) and 1.22 (1.00–1.49), respectively. At high-normal CBP and in mild hypertension, the HRs were 1.24 (1.03–1.49) and 1.20 (1.06–1.37), respectively, for all cardiovascular events and 1.33 (1.07–1.65) and 1.30 (1.09–1.56), respectively, for stroke. In severe hypertension, the HRs were not significant (p≥0.20). Among people with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP, 67 (5.0%), 187 (18.4%), and 315 (30.3%), respectively, had masked hypertension (HBP≥130 mm Hg systolic or ≥85 mm Hg diastolic). Compared to true optimal CBP, masked hypertension was associated with a 2.3-fold (1.5–3.5) higher cardiovascular risk. A limitation was few data from low- and middle-income countries.
HBP substantially refines risk stratification at CBP levels assumed to carry no or only mildly increased risk, in particular in the presence of masked hypertension. Randomized trials could help determine the best use of CBP vs. HBP in guiding BP management. Our study identified a novel indication for HBP, which, in view of its low cost and the increased availability of electronic communication, might be globally applicable, even in remote areas or in low-resource settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Globally, hypertension (high blood pressure) is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is responsible for 9.4 million deaths annually from heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension, which rarely has any symptoms, is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure, the force that blood circulating in the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic blood pressure) and lowest when the heart is refilling (diastolic blood pressure). European guidelines define optimal blood pressure as a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 mm Hg (a blood pressure of less than 120/80 mm Hg). Normal blood pressure, high-normal blood pressure, and mild hypertension are defined as blood pressures in the ranges 120–129/80–84 mm Hg, 130–139/85–89 mm Hg, and 140–159/90–99 mm Hg, respectively. A blood pressure of more than 160 mm Hg systolic or 100 mm Hg diastolic indicates severe hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure; overweight people and individuals who eat salty or fatty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Lifestyle changes and/or antihypertensive drugs can be used to control hypertension.
Why Was This Study Done?
The current guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hypertension recommend risk stratification based on conventionally measured blood pressure (CBP, the average of two consecutive measurements made at a clinic). However, self-measured home blood pressure (HBP) more accurately predicts outcomes because multiple HBP readings are taken and because HBP measurement avoids the “white-coat effect”—some individuals have a raised blood pressure in a clinical setting but not at home. Could risk stratification across increasing categories of CBP be refined through the use of self-measured HBP, particularly at CBP levels assumed to be associated with no or only mildly increased risk? Here, the researchers undertake a participant-level meta-analysis (a study that uses statistical approaches to pool results from individual participants in several independent studies) to answer this question.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers included 5,008 individuals recruited from five populations and enrolled in the International Database of Home Blood Pressure in Relation to Cardiovascular Outcome (IDHOCO) in their meta-analysis. CBP readings were available for all the participants, who measured their HBP using an oscillometric device (an electronic device for measuring blood pressure). The researchers used information on fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular, cardiac, and cerebrovascular (stroke) events to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs, indicators of increased risk) associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic HBP across standard CBP categories. In participants with optimal CBP, an increase in systolic HBP of 10-mm Hg increased the risk of any cardiovascular event by nearly 30% (an HR of 1.28). Similar HRs were associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic HBP for all cardiovascular events among people with normal and high-normal CBP and with mild hypertension, but for people with severe hypertension, systolic HBP did not significantly add to the prediction of any end point. Among people with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP, 5%, 18.4%, and 30.4%, respectively, had a HBP of 130/85 or higher (“masked hypertension,” a higher blood pressure in daily life than in a clinical setting). Finally, compared to individuals with optimal CBP without masked hypertension, individuals with masked hypertension had more than double the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that HBP measurements, particularly in individuals with masked hypertension, refine risk stratification at CBP levels assumed to be associated with no or mildly elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. That is, HBP measurements can improve the prediction of cardiovascular complications or death among individuals with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP but not among individuals with severe hypertension. Clinical trials are needed to test whether the identification and treatment of masked hypertension leads to a reduction of cardiovascular complications and is cost-effective compared to the current standard of care, which does not include HBP measurements and does not treat people with normal or high-normal CBP. Until then, these findings provide support for including HBP monitoring in primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease among individuals at risk for masked hypertension (for example, people with diabetes), and for carrying out HBP monitoring in people with a normal CBP but unexplained signs of hypertensive target organ damage.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Mark Caulfield
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish) and a guide to lowering high blood pressure that includes personal stories
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure and on cardiovascular diseases (in several languages); it also provides personal stories about dealing with high blood pressure
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information for patients about hypertension (including a personal story) and about cardiovascular disease
The World Health Organization provides information on cardiovascular disease and controlling blood pressure; its A Global Brief on Hypertension was published on World Health Day 2013
The UK charity Blood Pressure UK provides information about white-coat hypertension and about home blood pressure monitoring
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC3897370  PMID: 24465187
The Diabetes educator  2008;34(5):815.
The purpose of this meta-analysis was to meet the need to quantify the influence of diabetes self-management training on quality of life (QOL) of adult diabetes patients.
Extensive literature searching located published and unpublished diabetes self-management intervention studies that measured QOL outcomes among at least 5 subjects with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Data were extracted from primary study reports which included interventions designed to improve diabetes self-management and adequate data to calculate effect sizes. Random-effects meta-analytic procedures were used to estimate overall effects between treatment and control groups at outcome assessment and between baseline and outcome data for both treatment subjects and control subjects.
Exhaustive searching yielded 20 comparisons across 1,892 subjects. The comparisons between treatment and control group outcomes following interventions yielded an effect size of 0.281. The comparisons between treatment group at baseline and outcome measurement yielded an effect size of 0.312 to 0.313. Each of these effect sizes were statistically significant, meaning that the hypothesis that interventions to improve diabetes self-management results in increased QOL was supported. Control subjects did not experience improved QOL while participating in studies.
These findings document that people with diabetes experience improved QOL from participation in diabetes self-management training programs. Future diabetes self-management intervention studies should include quality of life outcomes so that this important outcome can be further studied. After more primary studies are available future meta-analyses can explore important moderator analyses.
PMCID: PMC2822439  PMID: 18832286
19.  Cardiovascular disease risk profile and microvascular complications of diabetes: comparison of Indigenous cohorts with diabetes in Australia and Canada 
Indigenous populations of Australia and Canada experience disproportionately high rates of chronic disease. Our goal was to compare cardiovascular (CVD) risk profile and diabetes complications from three recent comprehensive studies of diabetes complications in different Indigenous populations in Australia and Canada.
We compared participants from three recent studies: remote Indigenous Australians (2002-2003, n = 37 known diabetes), urban Indigenous Australians (2003-2005, n = 99 known diabetes), and remote Aboriginal Canadians (2001-2002, n = 188 known diabetes).
The three groups were similar for HbA1c, systolic BP, diabetes duration. Although leaner by body-mass-index criteria, remote Indigenous Australians displayed a more adverse CVD risk profile with respect to: waist-hip-ratio (1.03, 0.99, 0.94, remote Indigenous Australians, urban Indigenous Australians, remote Canadians, p < 0.001); HDL-cholesterol (0.82, 0.96, 1.17 mmol/L, p < 0.001); urine albumin-creatinine-ratio (10.3, 2.4, 4.5 mg/mmol); and C-reactive protein. With respect to diabetes complications, microalbuminuria (50%, 25%, 41%, p = 0.001) was more common among both remote groups than urban Indigenous Australians, but there were no differences for peripheral neuropathy, retinopathy or peripheral vascular disease.
Although there are many similarities in diabetes phenotype in Indigenous populations, this comparison demonstrates that CVD risk profiles and diabetes complications may differ among groups. Irrespective, management and intervention strategies are required from a young age in Indigenous populations and need to be designed in consultation with communities and tailored to community and individual needs.
PMCID: PMC3340324  PMID: 22455801
Aboriginal; Retinopathy; Albuminuria; Peripheral neuropathy; Perhipheral vascular disease
20.  Plasma carotenoids are associated with socioeconomic status in an urban Indigenous population: an observational study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:76.
Indigenous Australians experience poorer health than other Australians. Poor diet may contribute to this, and be related to their generally lower socioeconomic status (SES). Even within Indigenous populations, SES may be important. Our aim was to identify factors associated with plasma carotenoids as a marker of fruit and vegetable intake among urban dwelling Indigenous Australians, with a particular focus on SES.
Cross sectional study in urban dwelling Indigenous Australians participating in the DRUID (Darwin Region Urban Indigenous Diabetes) Study. An SES score, based on education, employment, household size, home ownership and income was computed and plasma carotenoids measured by high performance liquid chromatography in 897 men and women aged 15 - 81 years (mean 36, standard deviation 15). Linear regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between SES and plasma carotenoids, adjusting for demographic, health and lifestyle variables, including frequency of intakes of food groups (fruit, vegetables, takeaway foods, snacks and fruit/vegetable juice).
SES was positively associated with plasma concentrations of lutein/zeaxanthin (p trend <0.001), lycopene (p trend = 0.001), α- and ß-carotene (p trend = 0.019 and 0.026 respectively), after adjusting for age, sex, glucose tolerance status, smoking, alcohol use, hypercholesterolemia, dyslipidemia, self-reported health, waist to hip ratio and body mass index. These associations remained after adjustment for self-reported frequency of intake of fruit, vegetables, takeaway foods and fruit juice, which all showed some association with plasma carotenoids. Even in the highest SES quintile, concentrations of all carotenoids (except lycopene) were lower than the mean concentrations in a non-Indigenous population.
Even within urban Indigenous Australians, higher SES was associated with higher concentrations of plasma carotenoids. Low plasma carotenoids have been linked with poor health outcomes; increasing accessibility of fruit and vegetables, as well as reducing smoking rates could increase concentrations and otherwise improve health, but our results suggest there may be additional factors contributing to lower carotenoid concentrations in Indigenous Australians.
PMCID: PMC3040145  PMID: 21288365
21.  Socioeconomic status and self-reported asthma in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adults aged 18-64 years: analysis of national survey data 
Asthma is more common among Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australian adults, but little is known about socioeconomic patterning of asthma within the Indigenous population, or whether it is similar to the non-Indigenous population.
I analysed weighted data on self-reported current diagnosed asthma and a range of socio-economic and demographic measures for 5,417 Indigenous and 15,432 non-Indigenous adults aged 18-64 years from two nationally representative surveys conducted in parallel by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2004-05.
Current asthma prevalence was higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous people in every age group. After adjusting for age and sex, main language and place of residence were significantly associated with asthma prevalence in both populations. Traditional SES variables such as education, income and employment status were significantly associated with asthma in the non-Indigenous but not the Indigenous population. For example, age-and sex-adjusted relative odds of asthma among those who did not complete Year 10 (versus those who did) was 1.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-1.5) in the non-Indigenous population versus 1.0 (95% CI 0.8-1.3) in the Indigenous population.
The socioeconomic patterning of asthma among Indigenous Australians is much less pronounced than for other chronic diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease, and contrasts with asthma patterns in the non-Indigenous population. This may be due in part to the episodic nature of asthma, and the well-known challenges in diagnosing it, especially among people with limited health literacy and/or limited access to health care, both of which are more likely in the Indigenous population. It may also reflect the importance of exposures occurring across the socioeconomic spectrum among Indigenous Australians, such as racism, and discrimination, marginalization and dispossession, chronic stress and exposure to violence.
PMCID: PMC2928229  PMID: 20698967
22.  Differentiating Approaches to Diabetes Self-Management of Multi-ethnic Rural Older Adults at the Extremes of Glycemic Control 
The Gerontologist  2010;50(5):657-667.
Purpose of the Study: This study identified approaches to diabetes self-management that differentiate persons with well-controlled from poorly controlled diabetes. Previous research has focused largely on persons participating in self-management interventions. Design and Methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 48 adults, drawn from a population-based sample aged 65 years or older with diabetes. The sample was stratified by sex and ethnic group (African American, American Indian, and White) from the low (A1C <6%) and high (A1C >8%) extremes of the glycemic control distribution. Case-based text analysis was guided by a model, including six self-management domains and four resource types (self-care, informal support, formal services, and medical care). Results: A “structured” approach to self-management differentiated respondents in good glycemic control from those in poor glycemic control. Those in good glycemic control were more likely to practice specific food behaviors to limit food consumption and practice regular blood glucose monitoring with specific target values. This approach was facilitated by a greater use of home aides to assist with diabetes care. Respondents in poor glycemic control demonstrated less structure, naming general food categories and checking blood glucose in reaction to symptoms. Implications: Results provide evidence that degree of structure differentiates self-management approaches of persons with good and poor glycemic control. Findings should provide a foundation for further research to develop effective self-management programs for older adults with diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2937247  PMID: 20110333
Self-management of chronic disease; African American; American Indian; Diabetes; Qualitative methods
23.  Cluster randomised controlled trial of a peer-led lifestyle intervention program: study protocol for the Kerala diabetes prevention program 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:1035.
India currently has more than 60 million people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and this is predicted to increase by nearly two-thirds by 2030. While management of those with T2DM is important, preventing or delaying the onset of the disease, especially in those individuals at ‘high risk’ of developing T2DM, is urgently needed, particularly in resource-constrained settings. This paper describes the protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of a peer-led lifestyle intervention program to prevent diabetes in Kerala, India.
A total of 60 polling booths are randomised to the intervention arm or control arm in rural Kerala, India. Data collection is conducted in two steps. Step 1 (Home screening): Participants aged 30–60 years are administered a screening questionnaire. Those having no history of T2DM and other chronic illnesses with an Indian Diabetes Risk Score value of ≥60 are invited to attend a mobile clinic (Step 2). At the mobile clinic, participants complete questionnaires, undergo physical measurements, and provide blood samples for biochemical analysis. Participants identified with T2DM at Step 2 are excluded from further study participation. Participants in the control arm are provided with a health education booklet containing information on symptoms, complications, and risk factors of T2DM with the recommended levels for primary prevention. Participants in the intervention arm receive: (1) eleven peer-led small group sessions to motivate, guide and support in planning, initiation and maintenance of lifestyle changes; (2) two diabetes prevention education sessions led by experts to raise awareness on T2DM risk factors, prevention and management; (3) a participant handbook containing information primarily on peer support and its role in assisting with lifestyle modification; (4) a participant workbook to guide self-monitoring of lifestyle behaviours, goal setting and goal review; (5) the health education booklet that is given to the control arm. Follow-up assessments are conducted at 12 and 24 months. The primary outcome is incidence of T2DM. Secondary outcomes include behavioural, psychosocial, clinical, and biochemical measures. An economic evaluation is planned.
Results from this trial will contribute to improved policy and practice regarding lifestyle intervention programs to prevent diabetes in India and other resource-constrained settings.
Trial registration
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12611000262909.
PMCID: PMC3937241  PMID: 24180316
Diabetes; Incidence; India; Kerala; Peer support; Randomised controlled trial; Prevention; Resource-constrained settings; Rural; Intervention
24.  High rates of albuminuria but not of low eGFR in Urban Indigenous Australians: the DRUID Study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:346.
Indigenous Australians have an incidence of end stage kidney disease 8-10 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians. The majority of research studies concerning Indigenous Australians have been performed in rural or remote regions, whilst the majority of Indigenous Australians actually live in urban settings. We studied prevalence and factors associated with markers of kidney disease in an urban Indigenous Australian cohort, and compared results with those for the general Australian population.
860 Indigenous adult participants of the Darwin Region Urban Indigenous Diabetes (DRUID) Study were assessed for albuminuria (urine albumin-creatinine ratio≥2.5 mg/mmol males, ≥3.5 mg/mmol females) and low eGFR (estimated glomular filtration rate < 60 mls/min/1.73 m2). Associations between risk factors and kidney disease markers were explored. Comparison was made with the AusDiab cohort (n = 8,936 aged 25-64 years), representative of the general Australian adult population.
A high prevalence of albuminuria (14.8%) was found in DRUID, whilst prevalence of low eGFR was 2.4%. Older age, higher HbA1c, hypertension, higher C-reactive protein and current smoking were independently associated with albuminuria on multiple regression. Low eGFR was independently associated with older age, hypertension, albuminuria and higher triglycerides. Compared to AusDiab participants, DRUID participants had a 3-fold higher adjusted risk of albuminuria but not of low eGFR.
Given the significant excess of ESKD observed in Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Australians, these findings could suggest either: albuminuria may be a better prognostic marker of kidney disease than low eGFR; that eGFR equations may be inaccurate in the Indigenous population; a less marked differential between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for ESKD rates in urban compared to remote regions; or that differences in the pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.
PMCID: PMC3112138  PMID: 21595912
25.  Affective symptoms and change in diabetes self-efficacy and glycaemic control 
To examine the role of baseline depression, anxiety and stress symptoms on post-intervention diabetes self-efficacy and glycaemic control (HbA1c).
The current study analysed data from patients (n = 85) with treated but uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes who participated in a comparative effectiveness study of two diabetes self-management interventions. Hierarchical linear regression was used to examine the relationships between baseline affective symptoms and post-intervention diabetes self-efficacy and the moderating effects of baseline affective symptoms on the relationship between changes in diabetes self-efficacy and post-intervention HbA1c.
Baseline depression was inversely associated with post-intervention diabetes self-efficacy (P = 0.0001) after adjusting for baseline characteristics including diabetes self-efficacy. In contrast, normal–mild levels of stress were associated with higher post-intervention diabetes self-efficacy (P = 0.04). Anxiety and stress symptoms significantly and independently moderated the relationship between changes in diabetes self-efficacy and post-intervention HbA1c (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03, respectively). Further evaluation of these interactions demonstrated that changes in diabetes self-efficacy were associated with lower post-intervention HbA1c, but only among those with higher baseline affective symptoms.
We found a moderating effect across affective symptoms on the relationship between diabetes self-efficacy changes and post-intervention HbA1c in the context of a self-management intervention. Results suggest that patients with poorly controlled diabetes who have higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms may derive greater benefits from self-management interventions known to improve diabetes self-efficacy.
PMCID: PMC3628998  PMID: 23350920

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