Pharmacy practice professor conducts diabetes prevention research in China
Diabetes is fast becoming a global pandemic, along with increased rates of obesity and altered lifestyles. Some countries, such as China, are still early enough in the “diabesity” epidemic that there is time to bend the curve in the other direction.
Starting in 2012, Mark Strand, professor of pharmacy practice and faculty member in NDSU’s Master of Public Health program, was the recipient of a two-year $65,000 International Diabetes Federation grant to conduct a six-month randomized trial in China. The grant is part of the federation’s BRIDGES “translational research cycle,” a unique research approach seeking to demonstrate methods previously shown in a controlled setting are translatable at the clinic or community level.
Strand and his research team during the trial will evaluate an intensive lifestyle intervention program, designed by the team, for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes in at-risk Chinese women in an urban community in China.
Strand visited the Chinese research site in early August. The project is going well, but the biggest challenge has been recruitment, he said. Local awareness that pre-diabetes is a sensitive predictor of eventual diabetes is low, so upon learning they only are pre-diabetic, many women decide not to participate, according to Strand.
However, the women who are enrolled are motivated to use exercise, dietary change and social support to reduce their weight and to bring down their diabetes risk factors, such as HbA1C level, and thus prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, Strand said. Also, the population of women in the study are both healthier and more active than previous estimates suggested, so they are able to accomplish program targets for level of physical activity.
Information on this project and other translational research supported globally by the International Diabetes Federation for 2012-13 can be found at
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.