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Engaging South Asian women with type 2 diabetes in a culturally relevant exercise intervention: a randomized controlled trial
  1. Alamelu Natesan1,
  2. Vani C Nimbal2,
  3. Susan L Ivey1,
  4. Elsie J Wang3,
  5. Kristine A Madsen1,
  6. Latha P Palaniappan3
  1. 1University of California Berkeley, School of Public Health, Berkeley, California, USA
  2. 2Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, California, USA
  3. 3Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Latha P Palaniappan; lathap{at}


Background We examined the efficacy of a culturally relevant exercise program in improving glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) among South Asian women with type 2 diabetes, compared with usual care.

Methods This was a randomized controlled 8-week pilot study of Bollywood dance among South Asian women with type 2 diabetes. The intervention consisted of 1 h Bollywood dance classes offered twice per week. The primary outcome was change in HbA1c. The effect of attendance on this outcome was also examined.

Results The intervention group demonstrated a decrease in HbA1c from baseline (−0.18% (0.2%); p=0.018) compared with a non-significant increase in the usual care group (+0.03% (0.2%)); p value for difference between groups was 0.032. Participants attending at least 10 of 16 sessions had a statistically significant reduction in weight (−0.69 kg (0.76 kg)) compared with those attending fewer sessions (+0.86 kg (0.71 kg)).

Conclusions These results support culturally relevant dance as a successful exercise intervention to promote HbA1c control, compared with usual care.

Trial registration number NCT02061618.

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Exercise Interventions
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Race

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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