African Americans (AAs) are disproportionately burdened by diabetes mellitus (DM) with rates twice as high as Whites (13% vs 7.5%), and increased rates of DM-related complications and comorbidities (e.g. amputations, cardiovascular disease). A key pre-DM risk factor is overweight/obesity. Nearly 70% of AAs are overweight or obese, with higher rates among AAs with low-income. A critical component of national efforts to reduce growing obesity rates and prevent DM is the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a lifestyle intervention proven to reduce or delay DM onset with diet change, exercise, and modest weight loss (5-7%) in a rigorously evaluated national trial. A group-based version of the DPP has been widely disseminated and numerous community-based trials support its efficacy. In spite of these successes, there are significant health disparities in DPP attendance and outcomes and considerable room exists for improving success rates among AAs, a population that tends to experience half the amount of DPP weight loss compared to Whites.
We aim to build on our promising pilot studies by tailoring the DPP via a social determinants (SD) of health lens to achieve optimal DPP attendance and clinically meaningful weight loss with pre-DM AAs. This includes tailoring on cultural and socioeconomic SD mechanisms that are associated with improving health outcomes and align with predisposing needs among AAs who are primarily of low-income and live in low-resource AA communities. We propose a randomized controlled trial of 360 pre-DM AA patients from a safety net hospital (SNH) to test a standard DPP (S-DPP) against a culturally tailored DPP (TC-DPP; e.g., tailoring of language, foods, values, religiosity, norms, values) alone and a culturally tailored DPP enhanced to address access and support related economic barriers (TCE-DPP; hybrid group/online/text DPP; community health worker support to improve access to DPP classes, healthy food, exercise, and other community and health resources; and financial incentives) over 12 months. We will: 1) examine effects of TC-DPP and TCE-DDP on percent weight loss and attendance (primary outcomes) and on secondary outcomes (physical activity, completion of physician follow- up visit, hbA1c, and blood pressure) at 6 and 12 months with SNH AAs, 2) evaluate potential mediators/ moderators related to weight loss and attendance among AA SNH patients at 6 and 12 months to determine modifiable facilitators and barriers, and 3) conduct a process evaluation to examine TCE-DPP acceptability, feasibility, and fidelity, and relationships between delivery dose, exposure, costs, and outcomes to identify and improve essential intervention components. Our multidimensional DPP interventions are guided by our past pilots, and based on components that, all together, were used to help drive clinically important outcomes in the original DPP trial ? and are certainly needed to achieve similar outcomes with AA primarily of low-income. To our knowledge this is the first study to test multidimensional tailoring via an SD lens to truly impact DPP attendance and outcomes, and has potential to be a feasible, scalable model to reduce DM disparities among at-risk AA.

Public Health Relevance

African Americans (AAs) have rates of diabetes mellitus (DM) twice that of Whites and are disproportionately affected by leading risk factors for DM ? obesity and low-income. A critical strategy in the battle against DM is the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), an evidence-based intervention that significantly delays or prevents Type 2 diabetes through the promotion of diet change, exercise and modest weight loss. However, weight loss from the DPP among AAs is about half that of White participants, and suboptimal AA attendance is a critical contributor. We propose to conduct a study that will address social determinants (SD) that challenge DPP attendance with underserved African Americans from a safety net hospital. We will examine DPP attendance and weight loss with participants randomized to 3 groups: standard DPP, a culturally-tailored DPP to address acceptability, and a culturally-tailored DPP enhanced to address socioeconomic-related barriers to DPP participation. This novel study is the first to tailor the DPP to address SD cultural and socioeconomic barriers that limit DPP attendance and reduce its effectiveness on outcomes. The proposed multidimensional, SD tailored DPP has great potential to be a feasible and scalable model to reduce DM risks among urban, African Americans and ultimately reduce DM disparities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
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Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
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Thornton, Pamela L
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University of Missouri Kansas City
Schools of Medicine
Kansas City
United States
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