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Results of landmark 11-year study on weight loss's effect on heart disease risks published today
Date:6/24/2013

support for making changes in eating behaviors and engaging in physical activity. The intervention program focused on home-based, functional activities including helping participants balance, climb stairs, and get out of a chair, among other examples. Diabetes Support and Education group members received what Jakicic called "usual care, with some very infrequent support on general health topics that were not related to diet, physical activity, or weight loss."

Participants were required to have their own health care providers manage their diabetes and other conditions. Look AHEAD did not provide medical care, but it did assist participants in finding a health care provider if they did not have one.

The Look AHEAD study was intended to run for 13.5 years, the maximum length of time researchers had determined might be required to see a difference in heart disease between two groups. After 11 years, however, the Look AHEAD Data and Safety Monitoring Board, an independent monitoring board that provides recommendations to the National Institutes of Health, reviewed the data the study had collected and determined that Look AHEAD could reach the definite conclusion that there were no differences in cardiovascular disease rates between the study's two groups.

Speculating on the failure of weight loss to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers suggested that even greater weight loss may be necessary to reduce cardiovascular risk in diabetes patients who are overweight or obese. They also suggested that by providing participants in both groups, and their health care providers, with annual feedback on the participants' blood pressure, lipids, and blood sugar control, the cardiovascular disease risks for all experiment participants may have been reduced at a comparable rate.

The paper is titled "Cardiovascular Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Intervention in Type 2 Diabetes." It appeared online in the New England Journal of M
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Contact: Adam Reger
reger@pitt.edu
412-624-4238
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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