Results of a pilot diabetes prevention intervention in East Harlem, New York City: Project HEED

Punam Parikh, Ellen P. Simon, Kezhen Fei, Helen Looker, Crispin Goytia, Carol R. Horowitz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    96 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives. Our community-academic partnership employed community-based participatory research to develop and pilot a simple, peer-led intervention to promote weight loss, which can prevent diabetes and eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in incident diabetes among overweight adults with prediabetes.

    Methods. We recruited overweight adults at community sites, performed oral glucose tolerance testing to identify persons with blood glucose levels in the prediabetes range, and randomized eligible people to a peer-led lifestyle intervention group or delayed intervention in 1 year. Outcomes, including weight, blood pressure, and health behaviors, were measured at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months.

    Results. More than half of those tested (56%, or 99 of 178) had prediabetes and enrolled in the study. Participants were predominantly Spanish-speaking, low-income, undereducated women. The intervention group lost significantly more weight than the control group and maintained weight loss at 12 months (7.2 versus 2.4 pounds; P<.01). One fourth (24 of 99) of participants progressed to diabetes.

    Conclusions. In underserved minority communities, prediabetes prevalence may be higher than previously reported. Low-cost, community-based interventions can succeed in encouraging weight loss to prevent diabetes. (Am J Public Health. 2010;100:S232-S239. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.170910)

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S232-S239
    Number of pages8
    JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
    Issue numberS1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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