Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on the need for antihyperglycemic drug therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: A randomized trial

Katherine Esposito, Maria Ida Maiorino, Miryam Ciotola, Carmen Di Palo, Paola Scognamiglio, Maurizio Gicchino, Michela Petrizzo, Franco Saccomanno, Flora Beneduce, Antonio Ceriello, Dario Giugliano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Low-carbohydrate and low-fat calorie-restricted diets are recommended for weight loss in overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes. Objective: To compare the effects of a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean-style or a low-fat diet on the need for antihyperglycemic drug therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Design: Single-center, randomized trial. Randomization was computer-generated and unstratified. Allocation was concealed in sealed study folders held in a central, secure location until participants gave informed consent. Participants and investigators were aware of treatment assignment, and assessors of the primary outcome were blinded. Setting: Teaching hospital in Naples, Italy. Patients: 215 overweight people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes who were never treated with antihyperglycemic drugs and had hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels less than 11%. Intervention: Mediterranean-style diet (1c level greater than 7% (primary outcome), and changes in weight, glycemic control, and coronary risk factors (secondary outcomes). Results: After 4 years, 44% of patients in the Mediterranean-style diet group and 70% in the low-fat diet group required treatment (absolute difference, -26.0 percentage points [95% CI, -31.1 to -20.1 percentage points]; hazard ratio, 0.63 [CI, 0.51 to 0.86]; hazard ratio adjusted for weight change, 0.70 [CI, 0.59 to 0.90]; P <0.001). Participants assigned to the Mediterranean-style diet lost more weight and experienced greater improvements in some glycemic control and coronary risk measures than did those assigned to the low-fat diet. Limitations: Investigators responsible for initiating drug therapy were not blinded to treatment assignment. Dietary intake was self-reported. Conclusion: Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean-style diet led to more favorable changes in glycemic control and coronary risk factors and delayed the need for antihyperglycemic drug therapy in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Primary Funding Source: Second University of Naples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-314
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume151
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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