To examine diabetes remission following a short-term intensive metabolic intervention combining lifestyle and glucose-lowering approaches.
We conducted an open-label, randomized controlled trial in 154 patients with type 2 diabetes up to 8 years in duration on 0 to 2 glucose-lowering medications. Participants were randomized to (a) a 12-week intensive intervention comprising lifestyle approaches and treatment with insulin glargine, metformin, and dapagliflozin or (b) standard diabetes care. At 12 weeks, diabetes medications were discontinued in participants with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) < 7.3% (56 mmol/mol). Participants were then followed for diabetes relapse until 64 weeks. The primary outcome was complete or partial diabetes remission (HbA1C < 6.5% [48 mmol/mol] off chronic diabetes drugs) at 24 weeks. Main secondary outcomes were complete or partial diabetes remission at 36, 48, and 64 weeks.
The primary outcome was achieved in 19 (24.7%) intervention group participants and 13 (16.9%) control group participants at 24 weeks (relative risk [RR] 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8-2.7). The relative risks of remission at 36, 48, and 64 weeks were 2.4 (95% CI, 1.2-5.0), 2.1 (95% CI, 1.0-4.4), and 1.8 (95% CI, 0.7-4.7), respectively. In an exploratory analysis, the intervention reduced the hazard of diabetes relapse with overt hyperglycemia by 43% (hazard ratio 0.57; 95% CI, 0.39-0.81).
Our primary outcome of diabetes remission at 24 weeks was not statistically significantly different. However, our overall results suggest that some patients with early type 2 diabetes are able to achieve sustained diabetes remission following a short-term intensive intervention. Further studies are needed to optimize the combined therapeutic approach used.