OBJECTIVE To assess the relative impact of an intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) on use and costs of health care within the Look AHEAD trial.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 5,121 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to an ILI that promoted weight loss or to a comparison condition of diabetes support and education (DSE). Use and costs of health-care services were recorded across an average of 10 years.
RESULTS ILI led to reductions in annual hospitalizations (11%, P = 0.004), hospital days (15%, P = 0.01), and number of medications (6%, P < 0.001), resulting in cost savings for hospitalization (10%, P = 0.04) and medication (7%, P < 0.001). ILI produced a mean relative per-person 10-year cost savings of $5,280 (95% CI 3,385–7,175); however, these were not evident among individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease.
CONCLUSIONS Compared with DSE over 10 years, ILI participants had fewer hospitalizations, fewer medications, and lower health-care costs.
- Received January 12, 2014.
- Accepted March 6, 2014.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.