A controlled diet and exercise plan may help patients with type 2 diabetes lose weight, but the weight loss did not reduce their risk for having heart problems, a new study shows.
The study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), looked at the long-term effects of healthy nutrition and exercise in overweight people with type 2 diabetes. More than 5,000 obese adults ages 45 to 76 with type 2 diabetes were followed for nearly 10 years. Half of the participants focused on lifestyle intervention through physical activity and low calorie intake, and the other half was given conventional diabetes care.
Researchers found that obese people with type 2 diabetes involved in a long-term healthy lifestyle intervention to lose weight did not experience fewer heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular-related deaths, but they did reduce their risk for depression and improve their blood pressure and blood glucose levels so much that in some cases they could stop taking their diabetes medications. This is an added benefit as many medications for type 2 diabetes have dangerous side effects.
For example, in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) severely restricted Avandia after it linked to fatal heart attacks. In 2011, the FDA warned that Actos put users at greater risk for developing bladder cancer. And, earlier this year, studies showed that Byetta and Januvia were associated with pancreatic diseases, in particular acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Source: Science World Report