||Major Prospective Study Of The Relationship Between Weight And Health Gets Underway
The REWARD Trial - Registry Of Weight And Related Disorders
Yesterday, the start of the largest-ever prospective study of the relationship between weight and health got underway.
The study will be tracked through a clinical registry that will eventually contain weight, health, quality of life and lifestyle information on up to 200,000
people across the country.
The REWARD study (The REGISTRY OF WEIGHT AND RELATED DISORDERS), will collect and
periodically update demographic information and general health status, medical
data, weight history, family history, medical history and lifestyle data from
its volunteer participants. Researchers expect analysis of that data to yield
a wealth of information about the health effects of overweight and obesity, in
much the way that the Framingham Heart Study has provided ground-breaking
insights into the causes of cardiovascular disease by following more than
5,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts for the past five decades.
"Just as the Framingham Study changed our views on cardiovascular disease,
we expect the REWARD Project to uncover new information that will change
perceptions about weight, the health effects of overweight and obesity, and
strategies for weight management," said Dr. Peter W.F. Wilson, Principal
Investigator for the REWARD Project, Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at
Boston University School of Medicine and Director of Laboratories for the
Framingham Heart Study. "We are interested not only in following overweight
and obese patients, but also the typical American over the age of 20 who gains
one to two pounds every year."
"This study will have national implications for how we manage obesity, a
growing epidemic that affects 97 million Americans," said Dr. James M. Rippe,
Director of the REWARD Project Coordinating Center, Professor of Medicine
(Cardiology) at Tufts University School of Medicine, and Founder and Director
of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute. "Much remains unknown about obesity and the
REWARD Project will enable us to better understand how changes in weight
affect health risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high
cholesterol and diabetes."
The Obesity Epidemic
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is second only to
smoking as a cause of preventable death.
- Conditions related to being seriously overweight contribute to 300,000
deaths every year.
- Overweight people are more than twice as likely to develop type-2
diabetes as people who are not overweight.
- Nearly 70% of the diagnosed cases of cardiovascular disease are related
to being overweight.
- A person who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely
than an average-weight person.
The REWARD Registry
REWARD is an observational study that will collect information, but will
not involve any interventions, treatments or efforts to affect the weight or
health of participants. The project is encouraging physicians to become REWARD
investigators and enroll adult patients in the registry. There are no weight
or health criteria and any adult age 18 or older, except women who are
pregnant, can join. Women who become pregnant after enrollment may continue
participation in the registry. However, individuals who are overweight are
targeted in recruitment efforts.
Patients will submit initial information to their physicians, and follow
up information via mail, fax or online at the REWARD Project web site
(http://www.rewardproject.org) where they also can access personalized health
information from the REWARD Project. Routine performance reports summarizing
all patient data will be disseminated to participating physicians. Online
capabilities will enable physicians to access information about their patients
and they will be able to compare that information with summarized data from
other patients enrolled in the study.
Enrollment Is Under Way
Because of the national scope of the REWARD Project, all physicians are
invited to participate in the study. Patients who would like to take part
should contact their physicians and encourage them to join. For more
information physicians and patients can call toll-free 1-877-71REWARD
(877-717-3927), or visit the REWARD web site at www.rewardproject.org.
Funding for the REWARD Project is provided by Roche Laboratories Inc.
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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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