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BACKGROUND: Inflammation plays a major role in diabetes-associated cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is uncertainty whether diet and physical activity interventions can be successfully integrated into healthcare settings and reduce markers of inflammation and risk of CVD in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
METHODS AND RESULTS: Systemic markers of inflammation were determined in a 12-month, real-world, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial that investigated the effect of diet, diet plus physical activity, and usual care in 593 individuals with newly diagnosed T2D. During the first 6 months, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) improved by -21 (-36 to -1.4)% and -22 (-38 to -3.1)% in diet and diet plus physical activity arms versus usual care. There were also improvements in adiponectin and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1). Though medication-adjusted CRP was improved between 6 and 12 months for usual care, both interventions were more successful in reducing the relative risk of a high-risk CRP level of >3 mg/L (risk ratios of 0.72 [0.55 to 0.95] for diet versus usual care and 0.67 [0.50 to 0.90] for diet plus activity versus usual care). Furthermore, sICAM-1 (a marker of vascular risk), remained substantially lower than usual care in both intervention arms at 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Motivational, unsupervised diet and/or diet plus physical activity interventions given soon after diagnosis in real-world healthcare settings improve markers of inflammation and cardiovascular risk in patients with T2D, even after accounting for the effect of adjustments to medication to try and control blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, and lipids.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION URL: http://www.controlled-trials.com/. Unique identifier: ISRCTN92162869.