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Texting Intervention Promotes Weight Loss in Prediabetes

Clinically significant weight loss for more patients receiving text messages in addition to DPP

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For patients with prediabetes offered Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) classes, text message support can enhance weight loss, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Diabetes Care.

For the study, Henry H. Fischer, M.D., from the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and colleagues enrolled 163 English- and Spanish-speaking patients with prediabetes. Participants were randomized to a control group, which received an invitation to DPP classes, or to the text message-augmented intervention group, which also received text messages adapted from the DPP curriculum.

The researchers found that mean weight decreased by 0.6 and 2.6 pounds in the control and intervention groups, respectively (P = 0.05). In the control and intervention groups, 21.5 and 38.5 percent of participants, respectively, achieved 3 percent weight loss (absolute difference, 17.0 percent; P = 0.02). The control group had an increase of 0.19 percent in mean glycated hemoglobin, while the intervention group had a decrease of 0.09 percent (absolute difference, 0.28 percent; P = 0.07). A significant treatment effect was seen in Spanish speakers, but not English speakers.

“Text message support can lead to clinically significant weight loss in patients with prediabetes,” the authors write. “Further study assessing effect by primary language and in an operational setting is warranted.”

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