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IU researcher whose work led to Medicare support for prediabetes program available for interviews


INDIANAPOLIS — David Marrero, an Indiana University School of Medicine researcher and a leader in research that supported a change in Medicare reimbursement announced today, is available to discuss the importance of widespread efforts to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Marrero’s research showed that an effective diabetes prevention program could be translated into group activities at the YMCA,

Federal officials announced this morning that a proposal to enable Medicare, the federal health care program for older Americans, to reimburse for the costs of diabetes prevention programs following the success of such programs at the YMCA.

“We have an epidemic of diabetes in the United States and we have almost 89 million Americans with pre-diabetes, which puts them at higher risk of developing the disease,” said Dr. Marrero, Ph.D., director of the Diabetes Translational Research Center at the IU School of Medicine.

“Fortunately research shows that we can significantly reduce this risk with programs that promote a modest amount of weight loss with a modest level of exercise, and these programs can be implemented through community organizations such as the YMCA,” Dr. Marrero said.

Dr. Marrero was among the researchers who showed that the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) could result in such reduced risk in an landmark study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002.

He and colleagues later published studies showing the program could be implemented more broadly, and at lower cost, in group programs at the YMCA.

Dr. Marrero recently published work showing that the DPP program could be implemented using a commercial weight-loss system, Weight Watchers.486