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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Mar;20(3):636-43. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.80. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

The Women on the Move Through Activity and Nutrition (WOMAN) study: final 48-month results.

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Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


The Women on the Move through Activity and Nutrition (WOMAN) study was designed to test whether a nonpharmacological intervention including qualitative and quantitative dietary changes to induce weight loss and increased physical activity levels would reduce blood triglyceride levels and number of low-density lipoprotein particles (LDL-P). Such decreases in lipoproteins and other risk factors could reduce or slow progression of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD). Study participants were randomized to either the intervention (Lifestyle Change) or assessment (Health Education) group. Most of the intervention ended at the 30-month visit. The last 48-month examination was completed in 9/2008. There was very substantial weight loss and increased exercise during the first 30 months of the trial resulting in significant decreases in CV risk factors. Most of the intervention effect was lost through 48 months. Weight loss was 3.4 kg in Lifestyle Intervention and 0.2 kg in the Health Education at 48 months (P = 0.000). There were no significant changes at 48 months in lipid levels, blood pressure (BP), glucose, insulin, or in the subclinical measures of coronary calcium, carotid intima media thickness, or plaque. There was a significant decrease in long-distance corridor walk time in the Lifestyle vs. Health Education groups. Significant lifestyle changes can be achieved that result in decreases in CV risk factors. Whether such changes reduce CV outcomes is still untested in clinical trials of weight loss or exercise. Long-term maintenance of successful lifestyle changes, weight loss and reduced risk factors is the hurdle for lifestyle interventions attempting to prevent CV and other chronic diseases.


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