Stopping the study

Gina Kolata reports on a surprising result for a long-term study of diet and exercise in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: "Diabetes Study Ends Early With a Surprising Result".

The study randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese people with Type 2 diabetes to either a rigorous diet and exercise regimen or to sessions in which they got general health information. The diet involved 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for those weighing less than 250 pounds and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for those weighing more. The exercise program was at least 175 minutes a week of moderate exercise.
But 11 years after the study began, researchers concluded it was futile to continue the two groups had nearly identical rates of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths.

One expert quoted in the article thinks that the large effects of smoking cessation, statin drugs and blood pressure medications may swamp the small effect of diet and exercise. Swamp the small effect of diet and exercise on type 2 diabetes in obese patients? Wow.