Determinants of Diabetes Remission and Glycemic Control after Bariatric Surgery

Simona Panunzi, Lena Carlsson, Andrea De Gaetano, Markku Peltonen, Toni L Rice, Lars Sjöström, Geltrude Mingrone, John B. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE Eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery in diabetes include BMI ≥35 kg/m2 and poorly controlled glycemia. However, BMI does not predict diabetes remission, and thus, predictors need to be identified. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Seven hundred twenty-seven patients were included in a database merged from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study and two randomized controlled studies, with 415 surgical and 312 medical patients in total. Bariatric operations were divided into gastric only (GO) and gastric plus diversion (GD). RESULTS Sixty-four percent of patients in the surgical arm and 15.0% in the medical arm experienced diabetes remission (P < 0.001). GO yielded 60% remission, and GD yielded 76% remission. The best predictors of diabetes remission were lower baseline glycemia and shorter diabetes duration. However, when operation type was considered, GD predicted a higher likelihood of remission and greater weight loss. Patients in remission (responders) lost more weight (25% vs. 17%) and waist circumference (18% vs. 13%) and experienced better insulin sensitivity than nonresponders. CONCLUSIONS Surgery is more effective than medical treatment in achieving diabetes remission and tighter glycemic control. Shorter diabetes duration, lower fasting glycemia before surgery, and GD versus GO procedures independently predict higher rates of remission, whereas baseline HbA1c and waist circumference predict improved glycemic control. The results show the advantage of an early operation together with better controlled glycemia on diabetes remission independently of BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-174
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Cite this