Finding Answers, One Patient At a Time

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Throughout the month of August, we will be sharing important milestones from Joslin’s rich history. More than a century after its creation, Joslin continues its legacy as an internationally recognized diabetes treatment and research institution. This month we are celebrating the talented and dedicated individuals who have contributed to and continue to focus on our mission of preventing, treating and curing diabetes.

Jackie Shahar, manager of the Exercise Physiology department at Joslin, works with patient James Dugan in the Joslin gym.

Jackie Shahar, manager of the Exercise Physiology department at Joslin, works with patient James Dugan in the Joslin gym.

After struggling with type 2 diabetes for years, James Dugan jumped at the chance to enroll in a clinical weight-management study.Shown in photo at right with Joslin exercise physiologist Jacqueline Shahar, M.Ed., R.C.E.P, C.D.E., he has emerged a winner. Within half a year, he lost nearly 50 pounds. His blood glucose level and blood pressure have dropped to normal ranges. He no longer needs cholesterol or blood-pressure medications, and his diabetes medications have dropped from three to one.

Aiming to help overweight diabetes patients lower their blood glucose levels by slimming down, among principal investigators of the “SLIMM-T2D” study are Joslin diabetologists Allison Goldfine, M.D. Director of Cinical Research at Joslin, and Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Obesity Clinical Program at Joslin.

Patients are randomly assigned to one of two study groups. Some have bariatric surgery. Others are enrolled in Joslin’s multidisciplinary weight-management program called “Why WAIT,” for Weight Achievement and Intensive Management, created by Dr. Hamdy. The comparison will illuminate the best option.

Dugan was assigned to Why WAIT, in which exercise is integrated with medication adjustments, nutrition plans and behavioral support. “To date, 530 participants in various Why WAIT studies have lost an average of 10.3 percent of their weight during the initial
12 weeks, then maintained an average loss of 6.3 percent on their own for four years afterwards, aided by a case manager,” says Dr. Hamdy. “By continuing to do what they’ve learned, they’ll stay winners.

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