Objective: To estimate the incidence of remission in adults with type 2 diabetes not treated with bariatric surgery and to identify variables associated with remission.
Research design and methods: We quantified the incidence of diabetes remission and examined its correlates among 122,781 adults with type 2 diabetes in an integrated healthcare delivery system. Remission required the absence of ongoing drug therapy and was defined as follows: 1) partial: at least 1 year of subdiabetic hyperglycemia (hemoglobin A1c [HbA₁c] level 5.7-6.4% [39-46 mmol/mol]); 2) complete: at least 1 year of normoglycemia (HbA₁c level <5.7% [<39 mmol/mol]); and 3) prolonged: complete remission for at least 5 years.
Results: The incidence density (remissions per 1,000 person-years; 95% CI) of partial, complete, or prolonged remission was 2.8 (2.6-2.9), 0.24 (0.20-0.28), and 0.04 (0.01-0.06), respectively. The 7-year cumulative incidence of partial, complete, or prolonged remission was 1.47% (1.40-1.54%), 0.14% (0.12-0.16%), and 0.007% (0.003-0.020%), respectively. The 7-year cumulative incidence of achieving any remission was 1.60% in the whole cohort (1.53-1.68%) and 4.6% in the subgroup with new-onset diabetes (<2 years since diagnosis) (4.3-4.9%). After adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics, correlates of remission included age >65 years, African American race, <2 years since diagnosis, baseline HbA₁c level <5.7% (<39 mmol/mol), and no diabetes medication at baseline.
Conclusions: In community settings, remission of type 2 diabetes does occur without bariatric surgery, but it is very rare.
© 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.