Hispanics are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle interventions are effective in preventing diabetes and restoring glucose regulation.
We recruited Hispanic men and women (N = 320) who were residents of the Lower Yakima Valley, Washington, aged 18 years or older with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels higher than 6% to a parallel 2-arm randomized-controlled trial conducted from 2008 through 2012. The trial compared participants in the intervention arm, who received an immediate educational curriculum (n = 166), to participants in the control arm, who received a delayed educational curriculum (n = 154). The home-based curriculum consisted of 5 sessions led by community health workers and was designed to inform participants about diabetes, diabetes treatment, and healthy dietary and physical activity behaviors. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention and control arms, and analysts were blinded as to participant arm. We evaluated intervention effects on HbA1c levels; frequency (times per week) of fruit and vegetable consumption; and frequency (times per week) of mild, moderate, and strenuous leisure-time physical activity. At baseline, 3 months, and 6 months after randomization, participants completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample. Analysts were blinded to intervention arm.
The immediate intervention group (−0.64% [standard error (SE) 0.10]) showed a significant improvement in HbA1c scores (–37.5%, P = .04) compared with the delayed intervention group (–0.44%, P = .14). No significant changes were seen for dietary end points or changes in physical activity. We did observe a trend of greater increases in frequency of moderate and vigorous physical activity and a smaller increase in mild physical activity in the immediate intervention group than in the delayed intervention group.
This home-based intervention delivered by CHWs was associated with a clinically and statistically significant reduction in HbA1c levels in Hispanic adults with HbA1c levels higher than 6%.