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Section of Atherosclerosis

Houston, Texas

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Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
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Look AHEAD Study

Action for Health in Diabetes

(long-term health effects of weight loss in men and women who are overweight and have type 2 diabetes)

Look AHEAD is the first long-term study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to look at the effects of weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Baylor College of Medicine is one of 16 centers across the United States participating in this randomized clinical trial. Dr. Rebecca Reeves, assistant professor in the division, is directing the Look AHEAD study at Baylor's Behavioral Medicine Research Center. The center will evaluate the efficacy of intensive weight loss intervention on occurrence of myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular deaths in overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes. The effects of the intervention on other cardiovascular disease events, non-invasive measures of atherosclerosis, bone mass, and health-related quality of life will also be examined.

Volunteers between the ages of 55 and 75 years of age, with type 2 diabetes, and classified as overweight (Body Mass Index 25.0-29.9) or obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30.0) were eligible for the study. The Baylor site randomized 335 participants and assigned them to one of two groups:

  • Intensive Lifestyle: A weight-loss intervention that combines diet modification, increased physical activity, and meal replacements. Participants will attend group meetings and individual sessions both conducted by trained interventionists during the course of the study.
  • Support and Education: Participants will have the opportunity to attend quarterly classes on the topics of diet, exercise, or weight loss, and will also receive educational materials on managing diabetes, lipids, and blood pressure.

Participants will be followed for a total of 9 to 11.5 years. During this period, Dr. Reeve's group will examine the impact of these two interventions.

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