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Washington, USA (PRWEB) July 11, 2013

According to a report on the Science Daily website, a study was conducted to find the long-term effects of weight loss on the risks of cardiovascular disease patients with Type 2 diabetes. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was done at the University of Pittsburgh and at clinical facilities throughout the United States. The clinical trial investigate the effects of an intensive lifestyle intervention program, which intended to achieve and maintain weight loss in overweight or obese people with Type 2 diabetes on rates of cardiovascular disease. Beginning in 2001, the trail used more that 5,000 people across the US. This was the longest intervention study of its type to be done with patients with diabetes.

John Lakicic, who is the char and professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity in Pittsburg’s School of Education and Director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, took the lead as principal investigator in the study. He, along with colleagues throughout the University, is among the researchers comprising the national Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) Research Group, which carried out the study and authored the New England Journal of Medicine paper.

The study’s main findings included that weight loss among members of the study’s Intensive Lifestyle Intervention group, provided with a program of weight management and increased physical activity, resulted in no difference in heart attacks and strokes when compared to those who were in the study’s control group.

The effect of the intervention program on weight loss was significant. Those in the intervention group lost 8.7 percent of the initial body weight after a year of the study. In the control group, members only lost 0.7 percent. The intervention group maintained a greater weight loss, 6 percent of their initial weight. The control group maintained only 3.5 percent.

"While the findings from the Look AHEAD study did not support that engagement in a weight- loss intervention was effective for reducing the onset of cardiovascular disease incidence or mortality, this does not mean that overweight adults with diabetes should not lose weight and become more physically active," said Jakicic. "Rather, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence from this study to date that has shown that weight loss and physical activity were associated with numerous other health benefits.

"These include improving physical function and quality of life, reduction in risk factors such as lipids and blood pressure with less reliance on medication, better diabetes control with less reliance on medication, improved sleep, psychological and emotional health benefits, and many others," Jakicic said. "Thus, adults with diabetes can begin to realize many of these health benefits with even modest reductions in body weight and modest increases in physical activity."

Study participants were individuals between 45 and 75 years of age with Type 2 diabetes and a body-mass index of 25 or greater. Sixty percent of the study participants were women, while 37 percent were from ethnic and racial minority groups. The paper is titled "Cardiovascular Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Intervention in Type 2 Diabetes." It appeared online in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 24, 2013

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