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Editor's e-Note
What represents remission of type 2 diabetes? A new consensus statement explains that individuals who sustain a normal glucose level—defined as an HbA1c of 6.5—for three months or more after discontinuing diabetes medication are in remission. The international group of experts recommends that testing to determine maintenance of remission should be done at least yearly along with tests that assess for potential complications of diabetes.

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— Kate Jackson, editor
e-News Exclusive
Diagnosis Criteria for Diabetes Remission

People with type 2 diabetes should be considered in remission after sustaining normal blood glucose (sugar) levels for three months or more, according to a new consensus statement from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the Endocrine Society, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and Diabetes UK jointly published in Diabetes Care, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Diabetologia, and Diabetic Medicine, respectively.

About 10% of the US population has diabetes, and these numbers continue to rise. People with type 2 diabetes can reach “remission” by sustaining normal blood glucose levels for at least three months without taking diabetes medication. There is still a lot of uncertainty around how long remission lasts and what factors are associated with a relapse. Continued follow-up with the health care team is warranted for ongoing monitoring of glucose changes and diabetes complications. The long-term effects of remission on mortality, heart health, and quality of life are not well understood.

“Our international group of experts suggest an HbA1c (average blood glucose) level of less than 6.5% at least three months after stopping diabetes medication as the usual diagnostic criterion for diabetes remission,” says statement author and Editor in Chief of the ADA’s Diabetes Care, Matthew Riddle, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Riddle is chair of the Diabetes Remission Consensus writing group that developed the statement. “We also made suggestions for clinicians observing patients experiencing remission and discussed further questions and unmet needs regarding predictors and outcomes.”

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