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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Moving goal posts: Definition of diabetes remission after bariatric surgery

Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, 6th Floor Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Saranya Ravindra
65 Blenheim Road, North Harrow, Middlesex, HA2 7AQ
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9906.148605

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The escalating twin pandemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) present a major global public health burden. Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for obese patients with T2DM, as it not only causes weight loss, but also improves metabolic risk factors including glycemia, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Although several studies have shown impressive remission rates of T2DM following bariatric surgery, these studies have used different definitions of remission. In an attempt to solve the problem of inconsistent definitions, the American Diabetes Association and International Diabetes Federation, two large diabetes organizations, have developed standardized criteria for T2DM remission. These criteria are comprised of clinical parameters including glucose, lipid and blood pressure control and medication usage. Studies using these criteria have reported lower rates of remission than those previously reported using nonstandardized definitions. This review describes the existing literature on remission of T2DM following bariatric surgery, and emphasizes the importance of using the standardized definitions established in order to improve remission rates and thus reduce the incidence of the macrovascular and microvascular complications of T2DM.

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