Type 2 Diabetes Remission Possible With 10% Weight Loss

People who achieve weight loss of ≥10% in the first 5 years following diagnosis with type 2 diabetes have the greatest chance of seeing their disease go into remission, according to a study published in Diabetic Medicine.

The findings suggest that it is possible to recover from the disease without intensive lifestyle interventions or extreme calorie restrictions.

An intensive low-calorie diet involving a total daily intake of 700 calories for 8 weeks has been associated with remission in almost 9 out of 10 people with recently diagnosed diabetes and in half of people with longstanding disease.

However, there is little evidence to show whether the same effect can be achieved by people undergoing less intensive interventions, which are more feasible and potentially scalable to the wider population.

For the study, Hajira Dambha‐Miller, PhD, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and colleagues analysed 867 people with newly diagnosed diabetes aged 40 to 69 years from the ADDITION‐Cambridge trial. Participants were identified via stepwise screening between 2002 and 2006, and underwent assessment of weight change, physical activity, diet, and alcohol consumption at baseline and 1 year after diagnosis. Remission was examined 5 years after diabetes diagnosis via haemoglobin A1C level.

The researchers found that at 5 years, 30% of participants were in remission. People who achieved weight loss of ≥10% within the first 5 years after diagnosis had a significantly higher likelihood of remission (risk ratio = 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32-2.38; P< .01). In the subsequent 1 to 5 years, achieving ≥10% weight loss was also associated with remission (risk ratio = 2.43; 95% CI, 1.78-3.31; P< .01).

“We have known for some time now that it is possible to send diabetes into remission using fairly drastic measures such as intensive weight loss programmes and extreme calorie restriction,” said Dr. Dambha-Miller. “These interventions can be very challenging to individuals and difficult to achieve. [However], our results suggest that it may be possible to get rid of diabetes, for at least 5 years, with a more modest weight loss of 10%. This will be more motivating and hence more achievable for many people.”

“This reinforces the importance of managing one’s weight, which can be achieved through changes in diet and increasing physical activity,” concluded Simon Griffin, MD, University of Cambridge. “Type 2 diabetes, while a chronic disease, can lead to significant complications, but as our study shows, can be controlled and even reversed.”

Reference: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dme.14122

SOURCE: University of Cambridge
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