Lifestyle intervention may benefit the heart health of diabetics

Heart disease is one of the most common killers of individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, a new study from University of Texas researchers has shown that an intensive one-year intervention program can reduce blood levels of a protein that is considered a marker of poor heart health.

C-reactive protein (CRP) testing is a measure used by doctors to test for inflammation that could lead to an increased risk of heart disease. When levels are elevated, individuals are much more likely to experience a cardiovascular episode.

For the study, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers put a group of obese women with diabetes through an intensive lifestyle intervention program. These women were provided frequent counseling on improving exercise levels and reducing caloric intake.

The researchers found that the women who successfully completed the intervention program were able to reduce their C-reactive protein levels by 43.6 percent during the course of the one-year study.

"Our report supports a substantial benefit of lifestyle intervention for weight loss on the chronic inflammatory state characteristic of diabetes and highlights the contribution of improved glycemic control achieved with lifestyle changes to the reduction of elevated hs-CRP levels in obese sedentary individuals with diabetes," the authors wrote in their report.
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