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Enrollment closes soon for landmark diabetes and weight-control study

The LookAHEAD Study in San Antonio is one of 16 centers nationwide

San Antonio (June 17, 2003) — Enrollment ends soon for the LookAHEAD study (Action for Health in Diabetes), the largest long-term weight-loss study ever funded by the National Institutes of Health. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of 16 centers across the country participating in the study. A total of 5,000 people who are overweight and have diabetes will take part in LookAHEAD for up to 12 years. Steven M. Haffner, M.D., professor of medicine and principal investigator of the study, said the San Antonio site wants to enroll about 100 more participants before enrollment closes this December.

Those who qualify for LookAHEAD will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Participants in the Lifestyle program will take intensive weight-loss classes and be encouraged to exercise at least five days a week. Those in the second program, Diabetes Support and Education, will attend sessions on nutrition, physical activity and other diabetes-related health issues and concerns. These classes are free to participants.

A number of studies have shown that weight loss has many short-term benefits, particularly for those with diabetes. Before the LookAHEAD study, however, no research had looked at whether these benefits last over the long term. Because heart attacks and strokes are the leading causes of death in people with type 2 diabetes, LookAHEAD will focus on the impact of long-term weight loss on these two killers. The findings from LookAHEAD will help physicians provide the best weight control advice to their patients with diabetes.

People who are 55 to 75 years old, have type 2 diabetes and are overweight or obese are encouraged to participate. Enrollment closes on Dec. 31. Please call (210) 567-4799 or visit www.lookAHEADstudy.org.

Contact: Maria G. Montez, project coordinator, (210) 567-4799, or Will Sansom, (210) 567-2570