Metabolic improvement of male prisoners with type 2 diabetes in Fukushima Prison, Japan

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;77(2):327-32. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2006.10.008. Epub 2007 Jan 8.


Imprisonment often improves metabolic control in prisoners with type 2 diabetes; however, the reasons for this remain unclear. Here, we investigated the metabolic control of male prisoners with type 2 diabetes in Japan. Retrospective analysis of 4385 medical charts of male prisoners in Fukushima Prison from 1998 to 2004 revealed 109 prisoners (all Asian) with type 2 diabetes (mean+/-S.D.: 51+/-10 years). All were followed up during their imprisonment (14+/-10 months). During imprisonment, mean fasting plasma glucose and hemoglobin Alc (HbA1c) levels dramatically decreased from 184+/-74 to 113+/-38mg/dl (p<0.001) and 8.4+/-2.1 to 5.9+/-1.2% (p<0.001), respectively. In addition, 5 of 18 prisoners (28%) treated with insulin and 17 of 34 (50%) treated with oral hypoglycemic agents were able to discontinue their treatment and maintain good metabolic control. Most prisoners in Japanese prisons work 8h a day 5 days a week, consuming a high dietary fiber diet including boiled rice with barley, "Mugimeshi". These findings suggest that a well-regulated lifestyle and long-term intake of high dietary fiber may have beneficial effects on metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Edible Grain
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Prisoners*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol