GP Clinics


Study: Diabetes Remission Possible With Short, Intense Treatment Regimen

Remission of type 2 diabetes can be achieved through intensive treatment with oral medications, insulin, and lifestyle interventions, according to the results of a recent study.
In order to test the feasibility, safety, and potential of remission with a short-term intensive metabolic treatment strategy, researchers conducted a randomized, parallel,
open-label pilot trial involving 83 participants. All participants had had diabetes of up to 3-years duration, and were followed for 52 weeks.

The participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: an 8-week intensive metabolic intervention, a 16-week intensive metabolic intervention, or standard care.
Lifestyle modifications, as well as treatment with metformin, acarbose, and insulin glargine were utilized to target weight loss and normoglycemia. Pharmacologic treatments were then discontinued, and researchers followed participants for hyperglycemic relapse. After 8 weeks, 50% of the 8-week intervention group had achieved normoglycemia compared with only 3.6% of controls. At 16 weeks, 70.4% of the 16-week intervention group and 3.6% of controls had achieved normoglycemia. At 12 weeks after completion of the intervention, 21.4% of the 8-week group and 40.7% of the 16-week group met HbA1c criteria for complete or partial diabetes remission.

“A short course of intensive lifestyle and drug therapy achieves on-treatment normoglycemia and promotes sustained weight loss. It may also achieve prolonged, drug-free diabetes remission and strongly supports ongoing studies of novel medical regimens targeting remission,” the researchers concluded.

McInnes N, Smith A, Otto R, et al. Piloting a remission strategy in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized controlled trial [published online March 15, 2017]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.