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Effectiveness of a ketogenic diet and virtual coaching intervention for patients with diabetes: A difference-in-differences analysis.

Strombotne KL, Lum J, Ndugga NJ, Utech AE, Pizer SD, Frakt AB, Conlin PR. Effectiveness of a ketogenic diet and virtual coaching intervention for patients with diabetes: A difference-in-differences analysis. Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism. 2021 Dec 1; 23(12):2643-2650.

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Abstract:

AIM: To test the effectiveness of a ketogenic diet and virtual coaching intervention in controlling markers of diabetes care and healthcare utilization. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a difference-in-differences analysis with a waiting list control group-a quasi-experimental methodology-we estimated the 5-month change in HbA1c, body mass index, blood pressure, prescription medication use and costs, as well as healthcare utilization. The analysis included 590 patients with diabetes who were also overweight or obese, and who regularly utilize the Veterans Health Administration (VA) for healthcare. We used data from VA electronic health records from 2018 to 2020. RESULTS: The ketogenic diet and virtual coaching intervention was associated with significant reductions in HbA1c (-0.69 [95% CI -1.02, -0.36]), diabetes medication fills (-0.38, [-0.49, -0.26]), body mass index (-1.07, [-1.95, -0.19]), diastolic blood pressure levels (-1.43, [-2.72, -0.14]), outpatient visits (-0.36, [-0.70, -0.02]) and prescription drug costs (-34.54 [-48.56, -20.53]). We found no significant change in emergency department visits (-0.02 [-0.05, 0.01]) or inpatient admissions (-0.01 [-0.02, 0.01]). CONCLUSIONS: This real-world assessment of a virtual coaching and diet programme shows that such an intervention offers short-term benefits on markers of diabetes care and healthcare utilization in patients with diabetes.





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