SAN FRANCISCO – , according to United Kingdom investigators.
The odds of remission – meaning a hemoglobin A1c below 6.5% on repeat testing, off all medications – were directly related to the amount of weight patients lost; 60% of subjects who lost 22-33 pounds were free of type 2 disease at 2 years, versus 29% who lost 11-21 pounds, and 5% who lost less than 11 pounds.
“If people lose” around 30 pounds “and keep it off for 2 years, there’s a two-thirds chance of them escaping type 2 [diabetes]. People want to understand their options, and this is an option. This is very good news for people with diabetes,” said senior investigator, MD, a professor of medicine and metabolism at the University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, who presented the findings of the (DiRECT) at the annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association (Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2019 May;7(5):344-355).
The study is rooted in previous work by Dr. Taylor and his colleagues that found that very low-calorie diets normalized fasting plasma glucose in just 7 days in patients with type 2 diabetes due to a rapid fall in liver fat content and subsequent restoration of insulin sensitivity. That and other findings suggested that fast weight loss – instead of the traditional gradual approach – might help.
He and his team randomized 149 volunteers from primary care practices in the United Kingdom to standard care, and 149 others to rapid weight loss; more than a quarter of the patients who were asked agreed to participate.