August 2013

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Health Capsule

Volunteers Needed for Diabetes Study

Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last 5 years? If yes, you may be eligible to help scientists test treatments by participating in an NIH study.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, usually appears during middle age or older, but it can affect people of any age. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose, or sugar, in their blood, and they have trouble converting food to energy. The drug metformin, which helps to control blood glucose, is often the first line of treatment.

If metformin isn’t enough to keep blood glucose in check, doctors sometimes add another drug. But no long-term studies have looked at which drug combination works best and has fewer side effects.

To address this issue, NIH launched a long-term clinical trial called the GRADE study. Researchers will examine the benefits and risks of common diabetes drugs used with metformin.

Scientists hope to enroll about 5,000 participants at 37 locations across the country. All volunteers will take metformin, along with a second medication randomly assigned from among 4 classes of drugs approved for use with metformin by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Participants will have their diabetes medications managed free of charge during the study. Other health care must come from participants’ own providers.

Learn more about the GRADE study at