Introduction A wealth of evidence supports short-term efficacy of lifestyle interventions in type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, little is known about long-term effects of lifestyle interventions in real-life settings.
Methods This observational, single-arm study evaluated long-term impact of ‘Voeding Leeft: Reverse-Diabetes2-Now’, a 6-month multicomponent lifestyle programme, on glycaemic control and glucose-lowering medication (GLmed) use, other T2D parameters and quality of life in 438 T2D participants at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months using paired sample t-tests, χ2 and generalised linear models.
Results At 24 months, 234 participants provided information on GLmed and HbA1c (‘responders’). 67% of the responders used less GLmed, and 28% ceased all GLmed. Notably, 71% of insulin users at baseline (n=47 of 66 insulin users) were off insulin at 24 months. Mean HbA1c levels were similar at 24 months compared with baseline (55.6±12.8 vs. 56.3±10.5 mmol/mol, p=0.43), but more responders had HbA1c levels ≤53 mmol/mol at 24 months (53% vs 45% at baseline). Furthermore, triglyceride levels (−0.34±1.02 mmol/L, p=0.004), body weight (−7.0±6.8 kg, p<0.001), waist circumference (−7.9±8.2 cm, p<0.001), body mass index (−2.4±2.3 kg/m2, p<0.001) and total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio (−0.22±1.24, p=0.044) were lower, while HDL (+0.17 ± 0.53 mmol/L, p<0.001) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (+0.18 ± 1.06 mmol/L, p=0.040) were slightly higher. No differences were observed in fasting glucose or total cholesterol levels. Quality of life and self-reported health significantly improved.
Conclusion This study indicates robust, durable real-life benefits of this lifestyle group programme after up to 24 months of follow-up, particularly in terms of medication use, body weight and quality of life in T2D patients.