Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 1594–1601 | Cite as

Impact of Lifestyle Intervention and Metformin on Health-Related Quality of Life: the Diabetes Prevention Program Randomized Trial

  • Hermes FlorezEmail author
  • Qing Pan
  • Ronald T. Ackermann
  • David G. Marrero
  • Elizabeth Barrett-Connor
  • Linda Delahanty
  • Andrea Kriska
  • Christopher D. Saudek
  • Ronald B. Goldberg
  • Richard R. Rubin
  • for the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group
Original Research



Adults at high risk for diabetes may have reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


To assess changes in HRQoL after interventions aimed at diabetes risk reduction.


A randomized clinical trial, the Diabetes Prevention Program, was conducted in 27 centers in the United States, in 3,234 non-diabetic persons with elevated fasting and post-load plasma glucose, mean age 51 years, mean BMI 34 Kg/m²; 68 % women, and 45 % members of minority groups.


Intensive lifestyle (ILS) program with the goals of at least 7 % weight loss and 150 min of physical activity per week, metformin (MET) 850 mg twice daily, or placebo (PLB).


HRQoL using the 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) health survey to evaluate health utility index (SF-6D), physical component summaries (PCS) and mental component summaries (MCS). A minimally important difference (MID) was met when the mean of HRQoL scores between groups differed by at least 3 %.


After a mean follow-up of 3.2 years, there were significant improvements in the SF-6D (+0.008, p = 0.04) and PCS (+1.57, p < 0.0001) scores in ILS but not in MET participants (+0.002 and +0.15, respectively, p = 0.6) compared to the PLB group. ILS participants showed improvements in general health (+3.2, p < 0.001), physical function (+3.6, p < 0.001), bodily pain (+1.9, p = 0.01), and vitality (+2.1, p = 0.01) domain scores. Treatment effects remained significant after adjusting sequentially for baseline demographic factors, and for medical and psychological comorbidities. Increased physical activity and weight reduction mediated these ILS treatment effects. Participants who experienced weight gain had significant worsening on the same HRQoL specific domains when compared to those that had treatment-related (ILS or MET) weight loss. No benefits with ILS or MET were observed in the MCS score.


Overweight/obese adults at high risk for diabetes show small improvement in most physical HRQoL and vitality scores through the weight loss and increased physical activity achieved with an ILS intervention.


quality of life lifestyle metformin diabetes risk weight loss 



The Investigators gratefully acknowledge the commitment and dedication of the participants of the DPP. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health provided funding to the clinical centers and the Coordinating Center for the design and conduct of the study; and collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data. The Southwestern American Indian Centers were supported directly by the NIDDK and the Indian Health Service. The General Clinical Research Center Program, National Center for Research Resources, supported data collection at many of the clinical centers. Funding for data collection and participant support was also provided by the Office of Research on Minority Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Aging, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the American Diabetes Association. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Parke-Davis provided medication. This research was also supported, in part by the intramural research program of the NIDDK. LifeScan Inc., Health O Meter, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., Merck-Medco Managed Care, Inc., Merck and Co., Nike Sports Marketing, Slim Fast Foods Co., and Quaker Oats Co. donated materials, equipment, or medicines for concomitant conditions. McKesson BioServices Corp., Matthews Media Group, Inc., and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation provided support services under subcontract with the Coordinating Center. The opinions expressed are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Indian Health Service or other funding agencies. A complete list of Centers, investigators, and staff can be found in the online appendix.

The work was also supported in part by the VA-GRECC/ University of Miami CTSI program and HHS/NIH grant 1R18AE000049-01[HF].

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest related to this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11606_2012_2122_MOESM1_ESM.doc (182 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 182 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermes Florez
    • 1
    • 8
    • 9
    Email author
  • Qing Pan
    • 2
  • Ronald T. Ackermann
    • 3
  • David G. Marrero
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Barrett-Connor
    • 4
  • Linda Delahanty
    • 5
  • Andrea Kriska
    • 6
  • Christopher D. Saudek
    • 7
  • Ronald B. Goldberg
    • 1
  • Richard R. Rubin
    • 7
  • for the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group
  1. 1.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  2. 2.George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of CaliforniaOaklandUSA
  5. 5.Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  6. 6.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  7. 7.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  8. 8.Miami VAHS Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical CenterMiamiUSA
  9. 9.c/o Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinating CenterThe George Washington University Biostatistics CenterRockvilleUSA

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