NIH Recruits Natives for Long-Term Diabetes Drug Efficacy Study


A new study subsidized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aims to determine which drugs are best over the long-term for Native Americans, for young people, and for other groups.

A group of scientists will launch the Glycemia Reduction Approach in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness (GRADE) study to help determine the best treatment method for type 2 diabetes patients.

Starting in June 2013, the NIH’s Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch—located on the campus of the Phoenix Indian Health Center on North 16th St. and in Guadalupe—will seek people of Native American ancestry who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past five years to help find the best diabetes treatments for themselves and others.

Diabetes is among the most serious and common conditions for Native Americans—with potential consequences including kidney, heart and eye diseases and nerve damage. It is also increasingly found in Native American youth. The NIH underscores that taking part in clinical trials like GRADE can help improve treatment for Native Americans and for everyone. During the GRADE study, participants will take the drug metformin, along with a second medication randomly assigned from among four classes of medications, all approved for use with metformin by the Federal Drug Administration.

Volunteers will have their diabetes medications managed free of charge through the study, including at least four medical visits per year, but will receive other health care through their own providers.

NIH Senior Investigator Dr. Jonathan Krakoff, an expert in diabetes and obesity research, is available to discuss what he and researchers at 36 other GRADE sites around the country hope to accomplish, and the connection to diabetes in Native American communities.

For more information, contact Krysten.carrera@nih.gov or to set up an interview with Dr. Krakoff. More information about the study is available at www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2013/niddk-03.htm. To enroll in the study, volunteers should call Tina Killean, study coordinator, at 602-200-5337.