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Early Observations From Look AHEAD

Early Observations From Look AHEAD

Type 2 diabetes continues to adversely impact life expectancy, quality of life, and medical costs. Compounding the problem is that obesity among patients with diabetes is also increasing, further impacting the potential for future improvements in life expectancy and quality of life for these patients. It has been well established that the excess morbidity and mortality experienced by people with diabetes is primarily due to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, specifically the triad of hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. People with type 2 diabetes die about 8 years earlier than those without the disease, primarily due to their increased risk of CVD. Interventions to reduce the adverse health outcomes of diabetes are primarily directed at cardiovascular risk factors, but despite these efforts most patients do not appear to be achieving optimal care goals for CVD risk reduction. Clinical studies have demonstrated that effective programs for people with diabetes that achieve long-term weight loss and increase physical activity are promising for improving cardiovascular risk while minimizing use of pharmacologic agents. More research continues to explore the role of lifestyle interventions in these patients. The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study is an ongoing NIH trial, which is examining the effect of an intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) on CVD morbidity and mortality in people with diabetes. The ILI includes group and individual meetings to achieve and maintain weight loss by decreasing caloric intake and increasing physical activity; the comparator is a traditional diabetes support and education intervention (DSE). In the June 2010 issue of Diabetes Care, my colleagues and I examined the effect of the Look AHEAD intervention on medication...
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