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      Association of the Magnitude of Weight Loss and Physical Fitness Change on Long-term CVD outcomes: The Look AHEAD Study

      The Look AHEAD Study Group, , PhD
      The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology

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          The Look AHEAD Study found no significant reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence among adults with diabetes enrolled in an intensive weight loss intervention (ILI) compared to those randomized to diabetes support and education (DSE). We examined whether CVD incidence in Look AHEAD varied by weight or fitness change.


          Among overweight or obese adults people aged 45–76 with type 2 diabetes in the Look AHEAD study, this observational analysis examined the association of magnitude of weight loss (N=4834) and fitness change (N=4406) over the first year with CVD incidence over a median 10.2 years of follow-up. The primary outcome was a composite of CVD death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or angina hospitalization; the secondary outcome included the same indices plus coronary–artery bypass grafting, carotid endartectomy, percutaneous coronary intervention, hospitalization for congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, or total mortality. Analyses adjusted for baseline differences in weight or fitness, demographics and CVD risk factors.


          In analyses of the full cohort combining ILI and DSE, persons who lost > 10% body weight in the first year had 21% lower risk of the primary outcome (HR=0.79, 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.98) and a 24% reduced risk of the secondary outcome (HR=0.76, 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.91) relative to those with stable weight/weight gain. Achieving a > 2 MET fitness change was associated with a significant reduction in the secondary outcome (HR=0.77, 95% CI, 0.61 – 0.96) but not the primary outcome (HR=0.78, 0.60 – 1.03). In analyses treating the DSE as the referent group, ILI participants with > 10% weight losses had a 20% lower risk of the primary outcome (HR=0.80 (95% CI, 0.65 – 0.99) and a 21% reduced risk of the secondary outcome (0.79 (95% CI, 0.66 – 0.95); fitness change was not significantly associated with either outcome.


          This secondary analysis of Look AHEAD suggests an association between the magnitude of intentional weight loss and CVD incidence.

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          Effects of exercise on glycemic control and body mass in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials.

          Exercise is widely perceived to be beneficial for glycemic control and weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, clinical trials on the effects of exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes have had small sample sizes and conflicting results. To systematically review and quantify the effect of exercise on glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) and body mass in patients with type 2 diabetes. Database searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Sport Discuss, Health Star, Dissertation Abstracts, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register for the period up to and including December 2000. Additional data sources included bibliographies of textbooks and articles identified by the database searches. We selected studies that evaluated the effects of exercise interventions (duration >/=8 weeks) in adults with type 2 diabetes. Fourteen (11 randomized and 3 nonrandomized) controlled trials were included. Studies that included drug cointerventions were excluded. Two reviewers independently extracted baseline and postintervention means and SDs for the intervention and control groups. The characteristics of the exercise interventions and the methodological quality of the trials were also extracted. Twelve aerobic training studies (mean [SD], 3.4 [0.9] times/week for 18 [15] weeks) and 2 resistance training studies (mean [SD], 10 [0.7] exercises, 2.5 [0.7] sets, 13 [0.7] repetitions, 2.5 [0.4] times/week for 15 [10] weeks) were included in the analyses. The weighted mean postintervention HbA(1c) was lower in the exercise groups compared with the control groups (7.65% vs 8.31%; weighted mean difference, -0.66%; P<.001). The difference in postintervention body mass between exercise groups and control groups was not significant (83.02 kg vs 82.48 kg; weighted mean difference, 0.54; P =.76). Exercise training reduces HbA(1c) by an amount that should decrease the risk of diabetic complications, but no significantly greater change in body mass was found when exercise groups were compared with control groups.
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            The Look AHEAD study: a description of the lifestyle intervention and the evidence supporting it.

            The Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study is a multicenter, randomized controlled trial designed to determine whether intentional weight loss reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes. The study began in 2001 and is scheduled to conclude in 2012. A total of 5145 participants have been randomly assigned to a lifestyle intervention or to an enhanced usual care condition (i.e., diabetes support and education). This article describes the lifestyle intervention and the empirical evidence to support it. The two principal intervention goals are to induce a mean loss >or = 7% of initial weight and to increase participants' moderately intense physical activity to > or =175 min/wk. For the first 6 months, participants attend one individual and three group sessions per month and are encouraged to replace two meals and one snack a day with liquid shakes and meal bars. From months 7 to 12, they attend one individual and two group meetings per month and continue to replace one meal per day (which is recommended for the study's duration). Starting at month 7, more intensive behavioral interventions and weight loss medication are available from a toolbox, designed to help participants with limited weight loss. In Years 2 to 4, treatment is provided mainly on an individual basis and includes at least one on-site visit per month and a second contact by telephone, mail, or e-mail. After Year 4, participants are offered monthly individual visits. The intervention is delivered by a multidisciplinary team that includes medical staff who monitor participants at risk of hypoglycemic episodes.
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              Influences of cardiorespiratory fitness and other precursors on cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in men and women.

              To quantify the relation of cardiorespiratory fitness to cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and to all-cause mortality within strata of other personal characteristics that predispose to early mortality. DESIGN--Observational cohort study. We calculated CVD and all-cause death rates for low (least fit 20%), moderate (next 40%), and high (most fit 40%) fitness categories by strata of smoking habit, cholesterol level, blood pressure, and health status. Preventive medicine clinic. Participants were 25341 men and 7080 women who completed preventive medical examinations, including a maximal exercise test. Cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. There were 601 deaths during 211996 man-years of follow-up, and 89 deaths during 52982 woman-years of follow-up. Independent predictors of mortality among men, with adjusted relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), were low fitness (RR, 1.52;95% CI, 1.28-1.82), smoking (RR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.39-1.97), abnormal electrocardiogram (RR, 1.64;95% CI, 1.34-2.01), chronic illness (RR, 1.63;95% CI, 1.37-1.95), increased cholesterol level (RR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.13-1.59), and elevated systolic blood pressure (RR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.13-1.59). The only statistically significant independent predictors of mortality in women were low fitness (RR, 2.10; 95% Cl, 1.36-3.21) and smoking (RR, 1.99; 95% Cl, 1.25-3.17). Inverse gradients were seen for mortality across fitness categories within strata of other mortality predictors for both sexes. Fit persons with any combination of smoking, elevated blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol level had lower adjusted death rates than low-fit persons with none of these characteristics. Low fitness is an important precursor of mortality. The protective effect of fitness held for smokers and nonsmokers, those with and without elevated cholesterol levels or elevated blood pressure, and unhealthy and healthy persons. Moderate fitness seems to protect against the influence of these other predictors on mortality. Physicians should encourage sedentary patients to become physically active and thereby reduce the risk of premature mortality.

                Author and article information

                Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol
                Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol
                The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology
                19 October 2016
                30 August 2016
                November 2016
                01 November 2017
                : 4
                : 11
                : 913-921
                Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341
                Author notes

                Authors and Investigators in the Look AHEAD (Action for health in Diabetes) Research Group are listed in the Appendix.


                This manuscript version is made available under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.



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