Lifestyle Intervention Slows Mobility Loss in Obese Adults With Diabetes

April 30, 2012

For overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes, losing weight and improving fitness can reduce limitations in mobility.

An intervention that results in weight loss and improved fitness may slow the decline in mobility that often occurs with aging in overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). The intervention may be most effective in reducing severe disability.

Rejeski and associates randomly assigned 5145 overweight or obese adults aged 45 to 74 years with type 2 DM to an intensive lifestyle intervention or a DM support and education program. The primary outcome was self-reported limitation in mobility, with annual assessments for 4 years.

At year 4, 20.6% of patients in the lifestyle-intervention group had severe disability and 38.5% had good mobility, compared with 26.2% and 31.9% of patients in the support group. The intervention group had a relative reduction of 48% in the risk of loss of mobility compared with the support group. Weight loss and improved fitness were significant mediators of this effect. Adverse events related to the lifestyle intervention included a slightly higher frequency of musculoskeletal symptoms at year 1.

The authors noted that theirs are the first data from the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study to show that an intensive lifestyle intervention reduces the risk of loss of mobility.