Behaviour change, weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes: a community-based prospective cohort study

Diabet Med. 2020 Apr;37(4):681-688. doi: 10.1111/dme.14122. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Abstract

Aim: To quantify the association between behaviour change and weight loss after diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, and the likelihood of remission of diabetes at 5-year follow-up.

Method: We conducted a prospective cohort study in 867 people with newly diagnosed diabetes aged 40-69 years from the ADDITION-Cambridge trial. Participants were identified via stepwise screening between 2002 and 2006, and underwent assessment of weight change, physical activity (EPAQ2 questionnaire), diet (plasma vitamin C and self-report), and alcohol consumption (self-report) at baseline and 1 year after diagnosis. Remission was examined at 5 years after diabetes diagnosis via HbA1c level. We constructed log binomial regression models to quantify the association between change in behaviour and weight over both the first year after diagnosis and the subsequent 1-5 years, as well as remission at 5-year follow-up.

Results: Diabetes remission was achieved in 257 participants (30%) at 5-year follow-up. Compared with people who maintained the same weight, those who achieved ≥ 10% weight loss in the first year after diagnosis had a significantly higher likelihood of remission [risk ratio 1.77 (95% CI 1.32 to 2.38; p<0.01)]. In the subsequent 1-5 years, achieving ≥10% weight loss was also associated with remission [risk ratio 2.43 (95% CI 1.78 to 3.31); p<0.01].

Conclusion: In a population-based sample of adults with screen-detected Type 2 diabetes, weight loss of ≥10% early in the disease trajectory was associated with a doubling of the likelihood of remission at 5 years. This was achieved without intensive lifestyle interventions or extreme calorie restrictions. Greater attention should be paid to enabling people to achieve weight loss following diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.