(HealthDay News) — Weight loss over 2 years is associated with reduced diabetes incidence and improvement in cardiometabolic risk factors, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Linda M. Delahanty, RD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined measures of weight loss in relation to incident diabetes and cardiometabolic risk factors. Data were collected for 1,000 participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention arm.

The researchers analyzed nine weight measures, characterizing baseline weight, short- vs. long-term weight loss, short- vs. long-term weight regain and weight cycling. They sought to examine predictors of incident diabetes and improvement in cardiometabolic risk factors.

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The researchers found that weight loss in the first 6 months was protective of diabetes (HR=0.94 per kg; P<.01) and cardiometabolic risk factors (P<.01); however, long-term weight loss (from 0 to 2 years) was the strongest predictor of decreased incidence of diabetes (HR=0.90 per kg; P<.01) and cardiometabolic risk factor improvement (eg, fasting glucose; P<.01).

Per participant, weight cycling ranged from zero to six times and correlated positively with incident diabetes (HR=1.33; P<.01), fasting glucose (P=.02), homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (P=.04) and systolic blood pressure (P=.01).

The effect of weight cycling was significant for diabetes risk (HR=1.22; P=.03), but not for cardiometabolic traits, after adjustment for baseline weight.

“Two-year weight loss was the strongest predictor of reduced diabetes risk and improvements in cardiometabolic traits,” the researchers wrote.

Pharmaceutical, nutritio, and exercise industries donated materials, equipment or medicines and/or supported the study.


  1. Dehanty LM et al. Diabetes Care. 2014;doi:10.2337/dc14-0018.