Type 2 diabetes remission possible with modest weight loss

It may be possible to go into remission after diagnosis of diabetes, for at least five years, if patients can achieve a modest weight loss of 10%.

Obese people

People with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who achieve weight loss of 10% or more within five years of diagnosis are more than twice as likely to go into remission than people who maintain the same weight, research in Diabetes Medicine has shown (3 September 2019)[1]

Researchers followed 867 patients with a new diagnosis of T2DM for five years. They assessed various clinical and biochemical measures at baseline, one year and five years, including body weight and average blood glucose levels. Participants also reported physical activity, smoking status, diet and alcohol intake.

Overall, 257 participants (30%) were in remission from diabetes at five years.

Those who achieved ≥10% weight loss in the first year had a significantly higher likelihood of remission than those who maintained the same weight.

“We’ve known for some time now that it’s possible to send diabetes into remission using fairly drastic measures such as intensive weight loss programmes and extreme calorie restriction,” said Hajira Dambha-Miller, lead researcher from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.

“Our results suggest that it may be possible to get rid of diabetes, for at least five years, with a more modest weight loss of 10%. This will be more motivating and hence more achievable for many people,” she said.


[1] Dambha-Miller H, Day A, Strelitz J et al. Behaviour change, weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes: a community-based prospective cohort study. Diabet Med; In press. doi: 10.1111/dme.14122

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, February 2020, Vol 304, No 7934;304(7934):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207443

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