Weight change in people with type 2 diabetes: secular trends and the impact of alternative antihyperglycaemic drugs

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 May;14(5):424-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2011.01552.x. Epub 2012 Jan 17.


Aim: This study aimed to describe the pattern of weight change in people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) over time and when using alternative treatment regimens.

Methods: Data were from routine clinical practice in the UK. The weight trend was determined for each year from 1995 to 2010 for both prevalent and incident cases. Baseline weight was compared to absolute (mean Δ) and relative weights (% Δ) at 6, 12 and 24 months.

Results: Mean, standardized weight in prevalent cases increased from 83.4 to 92.1 kg for males and from 73.5 to 79.9 kg for females between 1995 and 2010 (p < 0.0001). For incident cases, the respective figures were 86.7 to 93.6 kg for males and 76.0 to 80.7 kg for females (p < 0.001). Between baseline and 6, 12 and 24 months, there were significant changes in weight for the majority of the treatment regimens selected for analysis. The largest weight increase at 12 months was for the patients who were prescribed a combination therapy with insulin and a thiazolidinedione, with a median increase of 4.1 kg (95% CI -0.60 to 8.0, p < 0.001). The largest weight decrease at 12 months was for the patients who were prescribed a combination therapy of metformin and exenatide, with a median decrease of -7.0 kg (95% CI -12.0 to -2.0, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: There was a continual increase in body weight in people with T2DM over time, and considerable differences in the impact on weight using alternative treatment regimens. At the same time, glycaemic control remained relatively unchanged.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human