People who lose weight soon after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes have significantly better outcomes than those who do not, according to US researchers.
In the first clinical study to show that the benefits remain even if patients regain weight, the researchers followed more than 2,500 adults with type 2 diabetes for four years.
They found that people who lost weight within 18 months of diagnosis were twice as likely to achieve their blood sugar and blood pressure targets as those who did not lose weight.
Even if they put the weight back on, benefits from the initial weight loss remained, helping to prevent diabetes-related heart disease, blindness, nerve and kidney damage, the researchers said online in the journal Diabetes Care.
Lead study author Adrianne Feldstein, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, said: ‘We’ve known for a long time that weight loss is an important component in diabetes treatment and prevention.
‘Now it appears there may be a critical window of opportunity following diagnosis in which some lasting gains can be achieved if people are willing to take immediate steps toward lifestyle changes.’