Wake Forest to coordinate national study on effect of weight loss on diabetes

June 25, 2001

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States, largely because of the dramatic increase in the number of Americans who are overweight or obese. Diabetes markedly increases the risk of dying of heart attacks and strokes.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine will be the national coordinating center for a major long-term study looking at the effects of weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. The study, to be known as Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes), was launched at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association today. It will be the largest study on the effects of weight loss ever funded by the National Institutes of Health, with a budget of more than $180 million. The study will last at least 11½ years.

Participants in Look AHEAD will be assigned at random either to a lifestyle intervention program designed to promote weight loss through reduced intake of calories and regular exercise, or to a diabetes support and education program where participants will attend sessions discussing nutrition and physical activities and meet with other people who have diabetes in support groups.

Sixteen centers will be recruiting about 5,000 volunteers for the study. Wake Forest will not have one of these clinics, but will analyze the data generated by the study. The principal investigators at Wake Forest are Mark A. Espeland, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences (biostatistics), and Lynne E. Wagenknecht, Dr. P.H., associate professor of public health sciences (epidemiology).

"The number of overweight persons in the US is increasing rapidly," said Espeland. "Look AHEAD will help us identify the best strategies for preventing heart disease and the complications of diabetes among these individuals." Wagenknecht said, "The impact of this study will be far-reaching since nearly everyone has been touched by diabetes in some way, either in a friend or family member."

The study is focused on the long-term health effects of losing weight and maintaining that weight loss, especially in people with type 2 diabetes, which used to be known as adult-onset diabetes. "Our primary interest is to reduce the risk of heart disease which occurs at a high rate in persons with diabetes," said Wagenknecht. "The reasons for this high rate are unclear, but since weight loss also reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, weight loss may in turn reduce the risk of heart disease."

The study's participants will be people between 45 and 75 who have type 2 diabetes and who are overweight, which will be categorized using a formula known as the body mass index.(BMI). BMI charts are widely available, such as at http://www.shapeup.org/bodylab/frmst.htm.

People with a BMI over 25 qualify for the study. A 5 foot 4 woman who weighs 150 pounds would qualify, as would a 6 foot man who weighs 190 pounds. More than half of adult Americans are considered overweight, and 22 percent are obese. And more than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. The goal of the lifestyle program is to lose at least 10 percent of initial weight, and then keep it off.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of NIH is the lead sponsor of the study, but other agencies involved include the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
-end-
Contact: Jim Steele at 336-716-4587 or via email, jsteele@wfubmc.edu.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.