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    New study: Weight loss results in diabetes remission

    A new study reveals that even a 10-pound weight loss maintained for at least a year can result in the remission of type 2 diabetes.

    A chronic condition requiring lifelong testing and medication, type 2 diabetes is both a costly and difficult disease that many primary care offices struggle to manage effectively. The study, however, published in The Lancet, asserts that intensive weight loss programs are effective in reversing a type 2 diabetes diagnosis and are practical for primary care practices to implement.

    Researchers conducted the trial across 49 primary care practices in the United Kingdom, enrolling more than 300 individuals 20 to 65 years of age who had been diagnosed with diabetes within the last six years. All of the individuals enrolled in the study had a body-mass index of between 27 and 45 kg/2. Participants were weaned off all antidiabetic and antihypertensive medications and placed on an 825 kcal to 853 kcal per day formula diet for three months to five months. Regular foods were reintroduced over two weeks to eight weeks, and additional support to maintain long-term weight loss was offered.

    For the purposes of the study, participants who reached and A1C level under 6.5% were classified as in remission from type 2 diabetes.

    In all, 24% of participants in the intervention group maintained a 33 or more pound weight loss after 12 months, compared to none in the control group. Nearly half—46%— of the intervention group was in diabetes remission, while only 4% in the control group achieved remission during the study period.

    Remission rates varied according to the amount of weight lost and maintained, with no remission in the 76 participants who gained weight, six of the 89 patients who lost 0 to 11 pounds achieved remission, 19 of the 56 patients with an 11- to 22-pound weight loss achieved remission and 31 of the 36 patients who maintained a loss of 33 pounds or more were in remission. Additionally, participants in the intervention group reported that their quality of life improved 7.2 points, while the control group reported a decrease of 2.9 points, according to the report.

    No one dropped out of the study, according to the report, but some did face adverse effects from the intervention, including one individual who suffered both biliary colic and abdominal pain that researchers said may have been connected to the intervention.

    Next: Skepticism about the study

    Rachael Zimlich, RN
    Rachael Zimlich is a freelance writer in Cleveland, Ohio. She writes regularly for Contemporary Pediatrics, Managed Healthcare ...

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