Diabetics is a primary global health concern. It affects the quality of life of people with this disease and their families and affects mortality rates. Many treatment options exist to control the disease. But many people go beyond managing their illness to achieve remission. Using data from Scotland, a new study finds that a significant number of people with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis are in remission. The researchers also tried to find out the factors that drive remission.
According to experts, in 2045, 700 million people will have the condition. An aging population, growing obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to the development of the disease. Many people manage or control their diabetics through glucose-lowering therapy. For type 2 diabetes, remission means without using glucose-targeted medications, achieving normal glycemic measures. Through bariatric surgeries, some people have achieved remission. Remission is achieved by others through low-calorie diets along with structured weight loss programs.
Many people achieve remission without any of these this recent study suggests. More than 162,000 people older than 30 years, using the SCI-DC registry data were used by the researchers. They were alive on December 31, 2019, and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. From type 2 diabetes, 7,710 of the study participants were in remission, the study found. Remission is defined by the researchers as after not using glucose-lowering medications for more than 365 consecutive days, hemoglobin A1c levels less than 48 millimoles per mole.
According to CDC, the A1C test ( hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test) is a simple blood test that over the past 3 months measures average blood sugar levels.
People who achieved remission –
- generally older in age
- no glucose-lowering medications are taken by them
- at diagnosis had lower blood sugar levels
- since the diagnosis of diabetes had lost weight, either through bariatric surgery or diet.
Compared to people from other ethnic groups or mixed backgrounds, white people were more likely to achieve remission.
The characteristics of people in remission were compared by the scientists with those who were not in remission. The researchers said to identify which groups are most likely to achieve remission understand the number of people in remission and the factors that led to this condition. For intensive lifestyle management of these groups targeting the limited resources would follow. With diabetes remission, bariatric surgery had a strong association. But this procedure was rare among study participants.
The information from the study indicates the importance of lifestyle choices and education in the treatment and possible prevention of the disease. According to health experts, it is essential to provide more significant support for those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is necessary to recognize that diabetes remission may not be permanent. 74% of the participants in this study were white, so the results may not apply to other groups. There were no details available on why people had undergone bariatric surgery.
The new study researchers said, “Further research is needed to investigate the association between remission and complications of diabetes, including mortality, particularly the effect of different durations of sustained remission.”