In the Journals

Lifestyle intervention improved long-term mobility function in patients with overweight, diabetes

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January 15, 2015

Intensive lifestyle intervention could improve long-term mobility for middle-aged and older adults with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to research published in Obesity.

“Type 2 diabetes accelerates obesity-related declines in physical function and further increases the risk of mobility disability,” Denise K. Houston, PhD, RD, of Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told Endocrine Today.

Denise Houston

Denise K. Houston

“A lifestyle intervention that incorporated both weight loss and physical activity appears to have long-term benefits on physical function and mobility among obese older adults with type 2 diabetes.”

For the randomized Look AHEAD Movement and Memory Study, Houston and colleagues looked at 964 patients, aged 45 to 76 years at enrollment, with overweight and obesity (BMI ≥25 kg m2) and type 2 diabetes.

The patients, recruited from four different clinics, were assigned to either intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) designed for weight loss through calorie restriction and increased activity or diabetes support and education (DSE).

During the trial’s weight maintenance phase, at 8 years post-randomization, patients were assessed for performance-based physical function through expanded short physical performance battery (SPPBexp), 20-m and 400-m walk and grip and knee extensor strength.

Adjusted mean difference demonstrated that patients with ILI achieved better SPPBexp scores (0.055, SE=0.022; P=.01) and faster 20-m (0.032, SE=0.012, m s-1; P=.01) and 400-m (0.025, SE=0.011, m s-1; P=.02) walk speeds vs. those with DSE.

Group differences in physical function were greatly attenuated when accounting for achieved weight loss, and intervention effect significance was lost.

“Modest weight loss, between 5 and 10%, and increasing physical activity to recommended levels, 150 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, may help to prevent or delay declines in physical function and mobility disability in middle aged and older obese adults with type 2 diabetes,” Houston said. – by Allegra Tiver

For more information: Denise K. Houston, PhD, RD, can be reached at the Sticht Center on Aging, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157; dhouston@wakehealth.edu

Disclosure: Please see study for full list of disclosures.

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