University of Minnesota Enrolling Diabetics in Research Program

Updated: 11/06/2013 8:07 PM
Created: 11/06/2013 3:03 PM
By: Todd Wilson

The University of Minnesota is enrolling patients in a diabetes study called "GRADE" that hopes to figure out the best treatments for people with diabetes.

Mary Johnson has been talking strategy with Dr. Elizabeth Seaquist at the University of Minnesota. She is a type 2 diabetic. "I was kind of in a little bit of a denial, thinking that, oh gosh that was a false positive," she said.

After a second test she was diagnosed with diabetes.

"I was pretty angry at myself. So, I'm over weight, I don't do a lot exercising so, really I looked at my self and said, what am I doing. I need to change my lifestyle," Johnson said.

She was put on medication, started exercising and eating healthy. But, after a while Johnson fell back into her old bad habits.

This is where Dr. Seaquist came into the picture. She's involved with the "GRADE" study. It's a long-term study of different treatments for type 2 diabetes.

"We now have so many classes of medicines available that we know work, are safe but we don't know how to best use them in combination with metformin which is the foundation along with diet and exercise to help treat diabetes," said Seaquist.

Seaquist says the project is a nationwide randomized clinical trial of 5,000 people. Her portion at the U will include 150 people. Folks will be randomly assigned to one of four medications. Their progress will be followed for up to seven years to evaluate effectiveness and impact on other diabetes related conditions and overall health.

Johnson says, it's a win-win situation for her.

"I'd be lying if I told you part of it honestly wasn't the fact that your medicine is free, your diabetes care is free."

She says, the financial analyst in her looks at that, and says that's a savings of about $1,500 a year.

Click here if you're interested in enrolling in the research trial.


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