Highlights From the Latest in Diabetes Research

Lifestyle Modification Slows Functional Decline in Type 2 Diabetes

Ample evidence supports the role of diabetes in increasing risk for both large- and small-vessel complications, as well as reducing quality of life and increasing health care costs. It has also been demonstrated that diabetes is associated with lower levels of physical function among middle-aged and older adults. The relationship between diabetes and disability can be viewed against the larger backdrop of the aging of the U.S. population and the role that disability plays in nursing home admission and loss of independence in the community. In an analysis of data from the Look AHEAD study, Rejeski et al. provide insight into what can be done to modify the trajectory of diabetes-associated mobility disability among community-dwelling adults. Look AHEAD participants included >5,000 diabetic individuals aged 45–74 years who were randomly assigned either to intensive lifestyle targeting a 7% weight loss and ≥175 min of weekly physical activity or to a control group that received diabetes education and support. Self-reported mobility was assessed with questionnaire items that were used to construct a 4-level outcome describing participants’ mobility disability (good, mild, moderate, and severe). At 4 years, good mobility was present in 38.5 and 31.9% of intervention and control participants. Conversely, severe mobility disability was present in 20.6 and 26.2% of participants in the two groups. Tests of mediation were used to demonstrate that each 1% relative reduction in weight reduced the risk of mobility loss by 7.3% and that each 1% relative improvement in fitness reduced this risk by 1.4%. Although the Look AHEAD study was originally designed to examine the impact of intensive lifestyle modification on cardiovascular …

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This Article

  1. doi: 10.2337/db12-dd09 Diabetes vol. 61 no. 9 2395-2396
  1. Free via Open Access: OA