Introduction: Many African-Americans (AA) with obesity with newly diagnosed diabetes presenting with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or severe hyperglycemia (SH) discontinue insulin therapy and achieve near-normoglycemia remission (hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) <7%, fasting blood glucose (FBG) <130 mg/dL) and able to be managed on oral antidiabetic agents (OAD) during follow-up. Using combined data from two randomized controlled trials, we assessed long-term carbohydrate tolerance and changes in insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion.
Research design and methods: Seventy-five participants with DKA (n=33) and SH (n=42) underwent 2-hour 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) after insulin discontinuation and every 6 months until hyperglycemia relapse (FBG ≥130 mg/dL, HbA1c >7% or two random BG ≥180 mg/dL) while treated with OAD (metformin, sitagliptin or pioglitazone) or placebo. Glucose tolerance status was defined as per the American Diabetes Association. Sensitivity index (Si) was calculated by oral minimal model, insulin secretion as the incremental area under the curve of insulin (IncreAUCi) and disposition index (DI) as Si×IncreAUCi.
Results: During remission, OGTT showed normal glucose tolerance (NGT) (n=9 (12%)), prediabetes (n=34 (45%)) and diabetes (n=32 (43%)). DI and Si were higher in patients with NGT versus prediabetes versus diabetes (p<0.001), while IncreAUCi was not significantly different among NGT, prediabetes and diabetes (p=0.14). Achieving NGT status did not prolong near-normoglycemia remission. OAD treatment significantly prolonged hyperglycemia relapse-free survival (log-rank p=0.0012) compared with placebo and was associated with lower hyperglycemia relapse (HR: 0.45, 95% CI: (0.21 to 0.96), p=0.04).
Conclusions: In AA patients with obesity with history of DKA and SH, near-normoglycemia remission is associated with improved insulin secretion and action with half of patients achieving NGT or prediabetes, and only half having diabetes on OGTT. NGT and prediabetes on OGTT were not associated with prolonged hyperglycemia relapse-free survival.
Keywords: antidiabetic drugs; insulin action; insulin secretion; ketoacidosis.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.