Heart Risks May Not Be Lowered by Diet and Exercise in Obese & Overweight Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
Generally those who choose to eat healthy diets and exercise can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases and hazardous medical events. Yet a new long-term study suggests that this may not be the case when it comes to reducing heart risks in obese or overweight patients with type 2 diabetes.
The study involved two groups of people (around 2,500 participants in each one). One group worked intensely to lose weight and increase physical activity (intervention group). The second group received diabetic support and education (control group). The first group saw greater weight loss than the latter (6.0 percent vs. 3.5 percent at the end of the study).
Despite the outcome, there was no significant difference between the groups in the number of those who suffered hazardous cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke. The same was true when it came to those hospitalized for heart-related problems or died as a result.
At this point researchers aren’t entirely sure why there was no difference. It’s thought that perhaps the amount of weight lost wasn’t significant enough to produce cardiovascular benefits. Further, the researchers stopped the study before the maximum 13.5 year follow up; The median follow up was only 9.6 years. Finally, the researchers suggested that perhaps the educational sessions and greater use of statins in the control group may have closed the gap between the two groups.
Diabetics are strongly encouraged to make lifestyle changes such as these in order to maintain blood sugar levels and prevent complications, and should talk to their doctor about the cardiovascular benefits of weight loss given their current medical condition. Still, there are other positives to being active and eating healthy.
For instance, losing weight may reduce risk of kidney problems, as well as the risk of serious depression and vision problems, even those that could cause blindness.
If diabetes or a heart-related condition has progressed to a point in which a person is disabled, benefits could be available. To learn about one’s rights to disability benefits or for help filing a claim, contact Disability Help Group