Association of an intensive lifestyle intervention with remission of type 2 diabetes

Edward W. Gregg, Haiying Chen, Lynne E. Wagenknecht, Jeanne M. Clark, Linda M. Delahanty, John Bantle, Henry J. Pownall, Karen C. Johnson, Monika M. Safford, Abbas E. Kitabchi, F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Rena R. Wing, Alain G. Bertoni

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516 Scopus citations


Context: The frequency of remission of type 2 diabetes achievable with lifestyle intervention is unclear. Objective: To examine the association of a long-term intensive weight-loss intervention with the frequency of remission from type 2 diabetes to prediabetes or normoglycemia. Design, Setting, and Participants: Ancillary observational analysis of a 4-year randomized controlled trial (baseline visit, August 2001-April 2004; last follow-up, April 2008) comparing an intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) with a diabetes support and education control condition (DSE) among 4503 US adults with body mass index of 25 or higher and type 2 diabetes. Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to receive the ILI, which included weekly group and individual counseling in the first 6 months followed by 3 sessions per month for the second 6 months and twice-monthly contact and regular refresher group series and campaigns in years 2 to 4 (n=2241) or the DSE, which was an offer of 3 group sessions per year on diet, physical activity, and social support (n=2262). Main Outcome Measures: Partial or complete remission of diabetes, defined as transition from meeting diabetes criteria to a prediabetes or nondiabetic level of glycemia (fasting plasma glucose <126 mg/dL and hemoglobin A1c <6.5% with no antihyperglycemic medication). Results: Intensive lifestyle intervention participants lost significantly more weight than DSE participants at year 1 (net difference, -7.9%; 95% CI, -8.3% to -7.6%) and at year 4 (-3.9%; 95% CI, -4.4% to -3.5%) and had greater fitness increases at year 1 (net difference, 15.4%; 95% CI, 13.7%-17.0%) and at year 4 (6.4%; 95% CI, 4.7%-8.1%) (P<.001 for each). The ILI group was significantly more likely to experience any remission (partial or complete), with prevalences of 11.5% (95% CI, 10.1%-12.8%) during the first year and 7.3% (95% CI, 6.2%-8.4%) at year 4, compared with 2.0% for the DSE group at both time points (95% CIs, 1.4%-2.6% at year 1 and 1.5%-2.7% at year 4) (P<.001 for each). Among ILI participants, 9.2% (95% CI, 7.9%-10.4%), 6.4% (95% CI, 5.3%-7.4%), and 3.5% (95% CI, 2.7%-4.3%) had continuous, sustained remission for at least 2, at least 3, and 4 years, respectively, compared with less than 2% of DSE participants (1.7% [95% CI, 1.2%-2.3%] for at least 2 years; 1.3% [95% CI, 0.8%-1.7%] for at least 3 years; and 0.5% [95% CI, 0.2%-0.8%] for 4 years). Conclusions: In these exploratory analyses of overweight adults, an intensive lifestyle intervention was associated with a greater likelihood of partial remission of type 2 diabetes compared with diabetes support and education. However, the absolute remission rates were modest. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00017953

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2489-2496
Number of pages8
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 19 2012


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