Effects of diabetes prevention education program for overweight and obese subjects with a family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A pilot study from the united arab emirates

Juma M. Alkaabi, Fatima Al-Maskari, Bachar Afandi, Said Yousef, Syed M. Shah, Wieke H. Heideman, Emmanuel A. Papadimitropoulos, Taoufik Zoubeidi, Abdul Kader Souid, Marília Silva Paulo, Frank J. Snoek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: The association of obesity and family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) provides an opportunity for risk stratification and prevention, as these two conditions are the most well-known risk factors for T2DM. We aimed to test the feasibility and effects of a diabetes mellitus prevention education program designed for overweight and obese Emirati people with at least one parent with T2DM. Methods: We conducted a pilot study using a pre-post design without a control arm at the Diabetes Center at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, UAE. Overweight and obese subjects with at least one parent with T2DM were invited to participate. Three study assessments were conducted at baseline, three months, and six months including a questionnaire, anthropometry, and laboratory assessments. Interventions included three individualized or family-engaged counseling sessions based on the DiAlert protocol. The study outcomes included awareness of risks and prevention opportunities to T2DM, behavior changes in nutrition and exercise, decreased waist-circumference, and clinical/metabolic/inflammatory markers. Pre-post changes were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results: One hundred twenty-two overweight or obese individuals were approached. Forty-four individuals met the eligibility criteria, and 32 individuals (35.0±9.0 years; 75.0% female) completed the study. At six months, there were significant improvements in the glycated hemoglobin levels (p = 0.007), high-density lipoprotein (p < 0.049), serum creatinine (p < 0.025), estimated glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.009), and adiponectin levels (p < 0.024). Sixteen of 32 participants had ≥ 2 cm reduction in waist circumference. They demonstrated notable physical and laboratory improvements in moderate-vigorous activity, average activity counts per day, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein. Conclusions: Offering family-oriented diabetes education to people at risk for T2DM is well received and has favorable effects on relevant risk factors. Better testing with large-scale randomized controlled studies is needed, and implementing similar educational programs for the Emirati population seems warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere268
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Health Education
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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