NIH-funded Study Finding: Lifestyle Intervention Does Not Lower Heart Disease Risk from Type 2 Diabetes
The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study found that an intensive diet and exercise program resulting in weight loss does not reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke in people with longstanding type 2 diabetes.
The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tested whether a lifestyle intervention resulting in weight loss would reduce rates of heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular-related deaths in overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes, a group at increased risk for these events. Researchers compared the intensive lifestyle intervention with a general intervention of diabetes support and education. The study includes 5,145 participants at 16 centers across the United States. The intervention was stopped after up to 11 years of follow-up because participants in both the intervention and control arms had similar rates of cardiovascular disease events.
Participants in the lifestyle intervention were able to lose weight and sustain much of that weight loss throughout the study. They lost over 8 percent of their initial body weight at 1 year and 6 percent at the time the study ended, compared with less than 1 percent and 3.5 percent of those in the diabetes support and education group. Although the lifestyle intervention did not reduce rates of cardiovascular events, it has shown a number of health benefits, including improving sleep apnea, reducing the need for diabetes medications, improving quality of life, and helping to maintain physical mobility.
Researchers will continue to follow long-term outcomes of all Look AHEAD participants.
NIH-funded Study Finding: CABG Has Advantages over PCI in Adults with Diabetes and Multivessel Coronary Heart Disease
Adults with diabetes and multivessel coronary heart disease who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery had fewer adverse events and better survival rates than those who received percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluding stents. The 5-year study, funded by the NIH, included 1,900 participants.
"The advantages of CABG over PCI were striking in this trial and could change treatment recommendations for thousands of individuals with diabetes and heart disease," said principal investigator Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.