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The DiaRem score has been used to predict whether patients, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, could be cured from this chronic condition by undergoing bariatric surgery.

Researchers have used the DiaRem score to predict whether patients with type 2 diabetes could be cured with bariatric surgery.

The DiaRem score ranges from 0-22 and is a validated one which is generated from patients data parameters such as age, diabetic medication being used, heamoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels and if they are insulin dependent.

The study

Data was analyzed from medical health records of over 400 patients who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who had undergone a Roux-and-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGBS). The criteria that needed to be met was that the records had to be at least 5 years old and patients' data up to 8 years after the operation was analyzed. These records came from patients who had participated in the original DiaRem study.

The aim of the study was to look at whether the DiaRem score could predict complete remission of type 2 diabetes, which was defined as the return of normal glucose values and no treatment being used for a year, and if the score could predict a cure for the condition, which was defined as complete remission for 5 years.

The findings

The following conclusion were made:

  • 24% of the patients had partial remission which lasted at least 1 year.
  • 35% of the patients had 1 or more years of complete remission.
  • 25% had a prolonged partial remission.
  • 20% of patients were cured of type 2 diabetes.
  • In patients who were achieving decreased remission, the DiaRem score increased. This was true for any length of remission.
Of the 100 patients with DiaRem scores of 0-2, 82% of them had prolonged partial remission, and not one of the 33 patients with a score of 18 or more went into remission. Of the former mentioned patients, 50% of them were cured compared to none of the latter mentioned patients.

The clinical significance

The conclusive findings were that bariatric surgery not only put type 2 diabetes into remission, but also cured it in a percentage of patients. The patients who were more likely to experience these benefits were those with lower DiaRem scores.

This would indicate that patients seen in a clinical setup who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and who had low DiaRem scores, could benefit from bariatric surgery. The sample data of this study was reasonably low, therefore further research on larger population groups has been suggested by the research team.

The biggest benefit of such a procedure, in patients with type 2 diabetes, is that it would improve their quality of life by reducing the risk of developing complications

Complication of diabetes

The following are complications associated with diabetes.

  • Nerve damage - this occurs due to injury to the small vessels carrying blood to the nerves. When the blood flow to these nerves are compromised, then the nerves start to become damaged.
  • Cardiovascular disease - such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Eye issues - such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Kidney damage - due to damage by excess glucose to the filtering system of the kidneys.
  • Foot-related issues - such as decreased sensation in the feet and slowed healing of wounds.
  • Skin conditions - such as fungal and bacterial infections.
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