Current Issue
Raising the Bar
Hey, What's the Big Idea
Red Carpet Treatment
From the CEO
Moving Forward
On Point
The Last Word
Past Issues
Other Publications Make a Gift
Contact Us

Many people begin the New Year resolving to adopt a healthier lifestyle—maybe they will exercise more, they say; eat their veggies.
     But Debra Bloom, associate administrator for Emory Healthcare and Emory Hospitals, took it to another level this year by becoming the first participant in a ground-breaking diabetes screening study conducted by researchers at the Emory School of Medicine.
     “When I heard about this opportunity, I thought it would be a good tool to help me plan a long-term strategy to stay healthy and active and continue to participate fully in all of the activities I enjoy,” she says. “We are often so strategic about how we plan our professional lives and day-to-day work, but when it comes to our health, we talk about making it a priority but are challenged to find the time to do so.”
     Although diabetes may not immediately spring to mind as a health priority, researchers believe as many as 35 million Americans have a condition known as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), a precursor to development of full-blown diabetes, the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure in this country. Unfortunately, most people are unaware they have IGT, and there is no standard diagnostic test to detect it before symptoms appear.
     Now, thanks to a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Emory is launching the first effort ever to develop a routine screening test to detect IGT.
     “Progression from IGT to diabetes can be forestalled, but diabetes risk-reduction programs are most effective if IGT is identified early,” says endocrinologist Lawrence Phillips, the lead investigator of the project, known as the Screening for Impaired Glucose Tolerance (SIGT) Study.
     Employees at Emory University, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Morehouse School of Medicine are being asked to do their part by volunteering as subjects because investigators need to evaluate the glucose tolerance of at least 2,100 people over a three-year period.
     In the first month of screening, researchers identified five people with IGT and one person with diabetes, says Phillips. “These people are getting a head start on treatment, and what we learn from them will also help many more people.”
     Volunteers will be asked to make two visits to the General Clinical Research Center; there are sites at both Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital. There, they will be asked to give small blood samples before and after consuming a sugary drink. In return, all participants will receive their personal test results and an explanation of what the results mean.
     To participate in this study, please call Emory HealthConnection at (404) 778-7777. Additional information is also available at the SIGT study website


current issue . past issues . contact us.
make a gift . other publications

Copyright © Emory University, 2005. All Rights Reserved