Intensive Lifestyle Interventions Cut Long-Term Disability in Type 2 Diabetes

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The incidence of physical disability was lower in the intensive lifestyle intervention vs the diabetes support and education group.
The incidence of physical disability was lower in the intensive lifestyle intervention vs the diabetes support and education group.

HealthDay News — For overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes, a long-term weight loss intervention is associated with a reduction in long-term disability, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Edward W. Gregg, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues randomized 5,145 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes aged 45 to 76 years to a 10-year intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) or diabetes support and education (DSE). The Short Form-36 was used to assess physical function annually for 12 years.

The researchers found that the incidence of physical disability was lower in the ILI versus the DSE group (6.0 versus 6.8 percent per year; incidence rate ratio, 0.88), whereas there was no difference in the rates of disability remission and mortality.

Compared with DSE participants, ILI participants had a significant delay in moderate or severe disability onset, and an increase in the number of nondisabled years. This effect translated into 0.9 more disability-free years for a 60-year-old (12.0 versus 11.1 years); there was no difference in total years of life. ILI increased disability-free years of life in women and those without cardiovascular disease (CVD), but not in men or those with CVD, in stratified analyses.

"Long-term lifestyle interventions among overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes may reduce long-term disability, leading to an effect on disability-free life expectancy but not on total life expectancy," the authors write.

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