• Although diet therapy is considered the cornerstone of therapy for obese patients with non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, losing weight is often difficult, and the plasma glucose concentration does not always improve after weight loss. We looked for predictors of improvement in plasma glucose levels after weight loss in 135 obese patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus who had lost at least 9.1 kg of body weight. After weight loss there was a bimodal distribution of plasma glucose levels, allowing us to identify patients as "responders" or "nonresponders" according to whether a random plasma glucose level was above or below 10.0 mmol/L after a 9.1-kg weight loss. Fifty-five (41%) of 135 patients were responders (after a 9.1-kg weight loss, the mean ± SEM plasma glucose level was 7.0±0.2 mmol/L). Many responders had improved plasma glucose levels after only slight weight loss. Eighty (59%) of 135 patients were nonresponders (after a 9.1-kg weight loss, the mean±SEM plasma glucose level was 18.3±0.6 mmol/L). Although the responder and nonresponder groups were comparable in age, sex distribution, plasma glucose levels, and body weight at initial presentation, improvement in the plasma glucose level after weight loss could be predicted by a plasma glucose level of 10.0 mmol/L or lower after 2.3-kg (62% positive predictive value) and 4.5-kg (79% positive predictive value) weight loss. We conclude that, in contrast to conventional teaching, many patients with non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus will not have any improvement in plasma glucose levels after a 9.1-kg weight loss. However, a substantial minority (≈40%) of obese patients with non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus have much lower plasma glucose levels with a weight loss of 9.1 kg or less. Although the plasma glucose response to weight loss cannot be forecast by initial clinical parameters, the success or failure of diet therapy can be predicted from the plasma glucose level after a weight loss of only 2.3 to 4.5 kg. Mild or moderately obese patients with non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus who remain hyperglycemic after a weight loss of 2.3 to 9.1 kg are unlikely to improve with further weight loss and should be considered for treatment with insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents.
(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:803-806)
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 88
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.