Lifestyle Intervention Helps Overweight Diabetes Patients

Mobility spared through weight loss and improved fitness

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- An intensive lifestyle intervention leads to a significant reduction in the risk of mobility-related disability in overweight type 2 diabetes patients, as compared with diabetes support and education, according to a study published in the March 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

W. Jack Rejeski, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues studied data for 5,016 participants among a total of 5,145 overweight or obese patients with diabetes (ages 45 to 74 years) who were randomly assigned to either an intensive lifestyle intervention or a diabetes support-and-education program. Participants were assessed annually for four years.

The researchers found that, among the 2,514 adults in the lifestyle-intervention group, 517 (20.6 percent) had severe disability and 969 (38.5 percent) had good mobility, compared to 656 (26.2 percent) and 798 (31.9 percent), respectively, of the of 2,502 participants in the support group. Compared with the support group, the lifestyle-intervention group had a 48 percent reduction in the risk of loss of mobility (odds ratio, 0.52). Both weight loss and improved fitness (as assessed on treadmill testing) were significant mediators of this effect. Adverse events that were related to the lifestyle intervention included a slightly higher frequency of musculoskeletal symptoms at one year.

"Weight loss and improved fitness slowed the decline in mobility in overweight adults with type 2 diabetes," the authors write.

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