Type 2 Diabetes Remission Rare Without Bariatric Surgery

(HealthDay News) — For adults with type 2 diabetes, remission is possible without bariatric surgery, but rarely occurs, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Andrew J. Karter, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues examined the incidence and correlates of diabetes remission in a cohort of 122,781 adults with type 2 diabetes not treated with bariatric surgery. 

Remission required the absence of ongoing drug treatment and was defined as partial (at least 1 year of subdiabetic hyperglycemia); complete (at least 1 year of normoglycemia); and prolonged (complete remission for at least 5 years).

The incidence density of partial, complete or prolonged remission was 2.8, 0.24 and 0.04 remissions per 1,000 person-years, respectively, the researchers found. 

The 7-year cumulative incidence of partial remission was 1.47%, complete remission was 0.14% and prolonged remission was 0.007%, according to the data. 

In the whole cohort and the subgroup with new onset diabetes (less than 2 years since diagnosis), the 7-year cumulative incidence of achieving any remission was 1.60% and 4.6%, respectively. 

Correlates of remission included age >65 years, African-American race, less than 2 years since diagnosis, baseline HbA1c level <5.7% and no diabetes medications at baseline, after adjustment for demographic and clinical characteristics.

“In community settings, remission of type 2 diabetes does occur without bariatric surgery, but it is very rare,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Karter AJ et al. Diabetes Care. 2014;doi:10.2337/dc14-0874.