New Study Links Weight Loss and Diabetes Remission to Decreased Heart and Kidney Disease Risk

Researchers at RSCI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin have discovered Health benefits linked to losing weight and remission of type 2 diabetes in a recent study. The research, published online in the international journal Diabetologia, followed 5,145 overweight or obese type 2 diabetes patients for twelve years.

Lead researcher Edward Gregg says it’s the very first interventional study to link remission of diabetes and subsequent decrease in disease-related complications. The results indicate a 40% decrease in cardiac disease risk and a 33% decrease in renal disease of all those in remission after considerable weight loss.

Amazingly, approximately 18% of individuals randomly placed on an intensive lifestyle and diet program effectively controlled their diabetes to the stage where they never took medicine again, and their blood sugars remained fairly stable – a state the scientists call remission. These individuals also had considerably reduced heart and renal disease rates than individuals not in remission.

A sustained long-term remission is key

The results likewise show the benefits are greatest in people who sustain long-term remission. At least 4 years of remission had been linked to a 49% reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 55% lower risk of renal disease.

The odds of remission were greatest for individuals who had not been diabetic for long periods, those closely controlled by blood sugar management, and people who had considerable weight loss. The study, however, also identifies obstacles to keeping remission; After eight years just 3% of study subjects remained in remission.

Notably, even short remissions had a protective effect and were linked with reduced heart and kidney disease rates in contrast to patients never getting remission. This stresses the significance of any remission time in the battle against these chronic illnesses.

Although admitting it’s been tough to keep weight loss and diabetes remission, Gregg highlights the good outcomes of the research. “Our results indicate that any remission success is connected to future health benefits,” he states in a university news release.

This particular study provides hope to all individuals afflicted by type 2 diabetes by illustrating that remission is attained and continued with good long-term health advantages. It also emphasizes the need for early intervention and the possibility of lifestyle adjustments to alter disease course and chance.


Gregg, E.W., Chen, H., Bancks, M.P. et al. Impact of remission from type 2 diabetes on long-term health outcomes: findings from the Look AHEAD study. Diabetologia (2024).