Efficacy of a virtual assistance-based lifestyle intervention in reducing risk factors for Type 2 diabetes in young employees in the information technology industry in India: LIMIT, a randomized controlled...

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Publication Date: 
Sep 02, 2016

AIMS: To investigate a virtual assistance-based lifestyle intervention to reduce risk factors for Type 2 diabetes in young employees in the information technology industry in India.

METHODS: LIMIT (Lifestyle Modification in Information Technology) was a parallel-group, partially blinded, randomized controlled trial. Employees in the information technology industry with ≥3 risk factors (family history of cardiometabolic disease, overweight/obesity, high blood pressure, impaired fasting glucose, hypertriglyceridaemia, high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol) from two industrieswere randomized to a control or an intervention (1:1) group. After initial lifestyle advice, the intervention group additionally received reinforcement through mobile phone messages (three per week) and e-mails (two per week) for 1 year. The primary outcome was change in prevalence of overweight/obesity, analysed by intention to treat.

RESULTS: Of 437 employees screened (mean age 36.2 ± 9.3 years; 74.8% men), 265 (61.0%) were eligible and randomized into the control (n=132) or intervention (n=133) group. After 1 year, the prevalence of overweight/obesity reduced by 6.0% in the intervention group and increased by 6.8% in the control group (risk difference 11.2%; 95% CI 1.2-21.1; P=0.042). There were also significant improvements in lifestyle measurements, waist circumference, and total and LDL cholesterol in the intervention group. The number-needed-to-treat to prevent one case of overweight/obesity in 1 year was 9 (95% CI 5-82), with an incremental cost of INR10665 (£112.30) per case treated/prevented. A total of 98% of participants found the intervention acceptable.

CONCLUSIONS: A virtual assistance-based lifestyle intervention was effective, cost-effective and acceptable in reducing risk factors for diabetes in young employees in the information technology industry, and is potentially scalable. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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