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Weight loss improves bladder control in women with prediabetes

Losing a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity reduces the occurrence of urinary incontinence (UI) in women with prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet diabetic. This finding comes from a new study, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care, of women who participated in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a landmark clinical study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Launched in 1995, the DPP's main results were announced in 2001 and reported in 2002 [http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/feb2002/hhs-06.htm]: losing 5 to 7 percent of weight through diet and a consistent increase in physical activity (e.g., walking 5 days a week 30 minutes a day) reduced the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Treatment with metformin lowered the chances of developing diabetes by 31 percent.

"To combat the dual epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes, Americans need to know about the proven benefits of losing some weight through calorie reduction and increased physical activity," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

The DPP randomly assigned 3,234 overweight people with higher-than-normal blood glucose levels to one of three approaches to prevent type 2 diabetes: dietary changes and increased physical activity aimed at a 7-percent weight loss; treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin; or placebo. The last two groups were also given standard medical advice about diet and weight loss. In the study, 660 women were randomly assigned to intensive lifestyle changes, 636 to metformin treatment, and 661 to placebo. Their average age was 50 years old, with an average body mass index of 35 (e.g., a 5' 4" woman weighing 204 pounds).

Women who implemented intensive lifestyle changes and lost 5 to 7 percent of their weight had fewer episodes of weekly incontinence compared to
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Contact: Joan Chamberlain or Marcia Vital
chamberj@nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
27-Jan-2006


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