Type 2 Diabetes – Improved Mobility with Weight Loss and Physical Fitness

credit: National Cancer Institute Bill Branson (photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes improved the outcome of mobility when they lost weight and increased physical fitness. The study came from the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial based on the four-year results. The findings were published in the March 29, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lead author Jack Rejeski, Ph.D, Thurman D. Kitchin Professor of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University, explained that this study demonstrates how important losing weight and increasing physical activity is to treat mobility problems with aging people with type 2 diabetes.

Look AHEAD is a multi-center, randomized clinical trial. The trial is investigating the effects of intended weight loss and the cardiovascular disease risk for overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes. In 2001, there was 5,145 participants that were randomly assigned to either an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention group or a Diabetes Support and Education group. The Intensive Lifestyle Intervention group participants attended group and individual meetings to reduce calories and increase physical activity. The typical Diabetes Support and Education group attended only three meeting every year and were given just a general education for eating a healthy diet, ways to stay active, and get social support.

The researchers measured all of the participants’ mobility by how well they were able to carry out tasks. These included running, lifting heavy objects, pushing a vacuum cleaner, and playing golf. The participants also rated themselves on how well they were able to climb a flight of stairs, bend, kneel, stoop, walk for a mile, and walk one block. The researchers also measured all the participants’ weight and had them complete a treadmill fitness test at the beginning of the study, after one year, and at the end of four years.
The results of the study at the end of four years of the study showed that the participants in the Intensive Lifestyle group had a 48 percent reduction in mobility-related disability compared to those participants in the Diabetes Support and Education group.

Mary Evans, Ph.D., project scientist for Look AHEAD said that at the beginning of the study, almost two-thirds of the participants reported having mild, moderate, or severe restrictions with their mobility. She added, “This study of mobility highlights the value of finding ways to help adults with type 2 diabetes keep moving as they age. We know that when adults lose mobility, it becomes difficult for them to live on their own, and they are likely to develop more serious health problems, increasing their health care costs.”

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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