This is a bit of a departure for me as I have picked something that’s not necessarily relevant to older people but more relevant I think to the people who might read this Blog. Thanks to UNIVADIS for bringing this to my attention.
We often hear that Type 2 diabetes (T2D) can be avoided by losing weight and altering your diet, See Understand Your Risk but what if you have Type 2 diabetes already!
How much weight reduction is required to achieve T2D remission?
A recent paper published by a team from the University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine, conducted a study that looked at this question and found that achieving weight loss of ≥10% within a few years of getting a T2D diagnosis is strongly associated with remission at 5 years. About a third of people who managed this achieved remission.
Why this matters
- About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, a number likely to more than double in the next 20 years. Type 2 accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide. Reports of Type 2 diabetes in children have increased globally (WHO 2019)
- Previous studies have shown that T2D remission is possible with intensive caloric restriction/lifestyle intervention, but few have addressed less-intensive interventions.
- Prospective cohort study of 730 people aged 40-69 years newly diagnosed with T2D
- Diabetes remission (HbA1c <48 mmol/mol; 6.5%), without any diabetes medication or bariatric surgery, was achieved in 257 participants (30%).
- Those achieving remission were more often male, smokers, and with full-time education beyond age 16 years.
- Compared with no weight change and after adjustments, people who lost ≥10% of body weight in first year after diagnosis were significantly more likely to achieve T2D remission at 5 years (risk ratio, 1.77; P<.01).
- Remission likelihood was non-significantly increased for 5%-10% weight loss (risk ratio, 1.24; P=.17).
- In subsequent 1-5 years, ≥10% weight loss was also associated with remission (risk ratio, 2.43; P<.01).
- No consistent patterns of associations between unit changes in health behaviours (energy intake, physical activity, etc.) and T2D remission.
- The study was conducted within a primarily white population.
- Funding was published by Wellcome Trust; Medical Research Council and the UK National Institute for Health Research.
You can access the whole paper via
Dambha-Miller H, Day AJ, Strelitz J, Irving G, Griffin SJ. (2019) Behaviour change, weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes: a community-based prospective cohort study. Diabetic Medicine. 2019 Sep 3 [Epub ahead of print] at doi: 10.1111/dme.14122. PMID: 31479535