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Looking AHEAD with Diabetes

Edward Horton, M.D., of Joslin Diabetes Center

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Exercise, lose weight and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. For most people with type 2 diabetes, this prescription is straightforward but extremely difficult to carry out. The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) national clinical trial, for which Edward Horton, M.D., heads Joslin’s participation, is taking a wide and long look at how well an intensive lifestyle intervention works in helping people bring about this change.

After four years, an early answer is in: Very well.

“A lifestyle intervention is very effective in reducing cardiovascular risk factors,” reports Dr. Horton. Those participants who stayed with the intervention did better than a control group with normal diabetes support and education in weight, fitness, hemoglobin A1C levels, blood pressure and high-density cholesterol levels.

Look AHEAD is spinning off a number of ancillary studies, in which Joslin researchers are cooperating with outside colleagues to study the benefits of such interventions for everything from improved bone density results to the health of women with gestational diabetes.

Edward Horton, M.D. of Joslin Diabetes Center