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Back To Vidyya 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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