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Volunteers needed for Type 2 diabetes study

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) is one of 16 clinical sites nationwide participating in LookAHEAD, the first long-term study to explore the effects of weight loss on Type 2 diabetes.

"We have an enormous opportunity to learn more about the role long-term weight loss can play in improving the health of overweight individuals with Type 2 diabetes," said Steven M. Haffner, M.D., UTHSC professor of medicine and principal investigator for San Antonio's LookAHEAD study.

Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, largely due to the number of Americans who are overweight or obese. Today, 80 percent of Type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. In addition, Type 2 diabetes is associated with a twofold to fourfold risk of coronary artery disease, and heart attacks and strokes are leading causes of death in people with Type 2 diabetes.

About 5,000 men and women from throughout the United States will be recruited. The San Antonio LookAHEAD site seeks volunteers who are between 45 and 75 years old, have Type 2 diabetes, and are overweight or obese. Participants will be followed for 9 to 11 years.

Half the people who join LookAHEAD will enroll in a long-term lifestyle change program for weight loss and weight maintenance. The Lifestyle Program is an intensive diet and exercise program designed to help participants lose 7 percent to 10 percent of their initial weight in the first year of the study. Weight-loss medications will be used for some participants, if needed.

Other participants will take part in the Diabetes Support and Education Program, which will provide sessions on nutrition and physical activity. Although this group will not undergo an intensive weight-loss program, members will be part of support groups with other diabetics.

Both programs are offered at no cost to participants. No-cost benefits for volunteers include study-related exams and medical tests, and long-term support from doctors, counselors and diabetes educators who care about their health and their diabetes.

The San Antonio site for the LookAHEAD study is at the Ashford Oaks Building, 8122 Datapoint Drive, Suite 818. If you are between 45 and 75 years old, have Type 2 diabetes, and are overweight or obese, please call (210) 567-4799.

LookAHEAD is funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Nursing Research; the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities; the Office of Research on Women's Health; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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