Association of nutrition education with the delay of the conversion of pre-diabetes to diabetes in hyperglycemic veterans
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Diabetes is a multi-factorial, complex disease where lifestyle changes including diet and exercise can play a pivotal role in its prevention and management. This retrospective study determined the effectiveness of an outpatient nutrition education program in preventing/delaying the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Hyperglycemic Veterans (n=372) were divided into a treatment group that received nutrition education (n=207) and a quasi-control group that did not receive nutrition education (n=165). Body weight, body mass index (BMI) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) changes were analyzed using Cox Proportional Hazards and chi-square tests. Data indicated significantly fewer Veterans were diagnosed with diabetes in the treatment group compared to the control group (p < 0.0005). Covariates of age, HbA1c and BMI were positively associated with diabetes. A diagnosis of diabetes occurred 2-3 months later for Veterans receiving nutrition education. Nutrition education significantly delayed the conversion of pre-diabetes to a diagnosis of diabetes among Veterans.