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Modest Weight Loss Boosts Bladder Control

Overweight women at risk for diabetes saw real improvements, study found

FRIDAY, Jan. 27, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Dropping even a small amount of weight not only improves well-being, it also enhances bladder control in women with pre-diabetes, a new study finds.

People with pre-diabetes have higher-than-normal blood glucose levels, but do not yet have diabetes.

The study included approximately 3,200 pre-diabetic, overweight women, averaging 50 years of age, who took part in the Diabetes Prevention Program, a clinical trial funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups: dietary changes and increased exercise aimed at achieving a 7 percent weight loss (660 women); treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin (636 women); or treatment with a placebo (661 women).

The last two groups were also given standard medical advice about diet and weight loss.

Women who lost 5 to 7 percent of their weight through dietary changes and increased exercise had fewer incidents of weekly incontinence compared to women in the other two groups -- 38 percent vs. 48 percent in the metformin group and 46 percent in the placebo group.

"Our findings reinforce the Diabetes Prevention Program's good news about the benefits of modest weight loss," study lead author Dr. Jeanette S. Brown of the University of California, San Francisco, said in a prepared statement. "A 200-pound woman who loses 10 to 15 pounds not only lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes but also improves bladder control."

"If you're a woman at risk for type 2 diabetes, preventing or delaying diabetes and improving bladder control are powerful reasons to make these lifestyle changes," Brown added.

The Diabetes Prevention Program's main results, reported in 2002, showed that diet changes and increased exercise that led to a weight loss of 5 percent to 7 percent reduced the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Treatment with metformin reduced the risk by 31 percent.

The findings appear in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

More information

The American Diabetes Association has more about pre-diabetes.

SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, news release, Jan. 27, 2006
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