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article imageStudy finds losing weight can avoid kidney disease in diabetics

By Marcus Hondro     Aug 21, 2014 in Health
Some 35 percent of people with diabetes will, to varying degrees of severity, go on to develop kidney disease, many requiring dialysis. New research suggests that for diabetics who lose weight the chances of developing kidney disease is lowered.
The lead author of the research, Dr. William C. Knowler, is hoping that the figures they've produced in their research will convince diabetics that weight loss is a crucial element of controlling their illness.
“This result along with many others tends to reinforce the value of weight loss interventions and hopefully motivates people with diabetes to lose weight,” said Dr. Knowler, chief of the Diabetes Epidemiology and Clinical Research Section of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Phoenix.
They did not produce a new study to get to their conclusions but rather examined existing data from a prior study. It was a study that looked at over 5,000 obese or overweight Americans between the ages of 45 to 76 who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
The study participants were split into two groups, one worked at losing 7 percent of their body weight by means of increased activity and a healthier diet, while those in the other group were simply given support, such as being educated on diabetes and the role weight plays in the illness.
It was believed the study might show a reduced risk of heart and stroke in the participants who lost weight but no significant difference was found there. However, the results, Dr. Knowler, said showed a reduced risk of chronic kidney illness for those who lost weight (it also showed other weight loss health benefits to diabetics in areas such as the ability to exercise, depression, knee injuries and urinary incontinence).
Dr. Knowler noted that the results don't point to anything new in terms of treatment. “In one sense it doesn’t add anything to existing recommendations because for overweight people, weight loss and increased activity are recommended already," he said. “But we don’t really put a lot of force behind that recommendation.”
The hope, Dr. Knowler said, is that the prospect of potentially avoiding kidney problems will convince overweight and obese persons with diabetes to put greater effort into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
More about kidney disease, Weight loss, Diabetes, type 2 diabetes, dr knowler
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