Preventing glycaemic relapse in recently controlled type 2 diabetes patients: A randomised controlled trial

M. M. Huizinga, T. Gebretsadik, C. Garcia Ulen, A. K. Shintani, S. R. Michon, L. O. Shackleford, K. L. Wolff, A. W. Brown, R. L. Rothman, T. A. Elasy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims/hypothesis: After achieving glycaemic control, many type 2 diabetic patients relapse to clinically significant levels of hyperglycaemia. We sought to determine the optimal frequency of telephone contact by nurse practitioners that was necessary to prevent glycaemic relapse. Methods: This parallel, randomised controlled trial ran from June 2002 to February 2006 at an academic medical centre, studying 164 type 2 diabetic patients who had recently achieved glycaemic control. Participants were randomly assigned by sequential, concealed, computer-generated allocation to a 2 year maintenance strategy consisting of: (1) routine follow-up (n = 54); (2) routine follow-up and quarterly telephone contact (n = 55); or (3) routine follow-up and monthly telephone contact (n = 55). Blinding was not possible. The primary outcome was cumulative incidence of glycaemic relapse, defined as an increase in HbA1c of ≥1%; all participants were analysed. Cumulative incidence and prevalent proportions were compared. Weight change and hypoglycaemia were also assessed. Results: All participants randomised were included in the analyses. The study was completed by 90% of participants and intervention fidelity was high. At 24 months, the cumulative incidence of relapse was 41%. At 12 months, prevalent proportions of relapse were 20%, 14% and 15% for control, quarterly contact and monthly contact, respectively. At 24 months, they were 25%, 21% and 29%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in cumulative incidence or prevalent proportions of relapse among the study arms. Adverse events did not differ between study arms. Conclusions/interpretation: This first randomised controlled trial to test an intervention to prevent glycaemic relapse found that regularly scheduled telephone contact by a nurse practitioner was no more effective than routine follow-up care in preventing glycaemic relapse. Trial registration:: NCT00362193 Funding:: The research was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease R18 DK 062258, P60 DK 020593 and K24 DK 077875. M. M. Huizinga was supported by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 1 K12 ES 015855 and National Center for Research Resources 5 K12 RR 023266.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-839
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010



  • Behavioural intervention
  • Diabetes
  • Haemoglobin A
  • Long-term care
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Huizinga, M. M., Gebretsadik, T., Garcia Ulen, C., Shintani, A. K., Michon, S. R., Shackleford, L. O., Wolff, K. L., Brown, A. W., Rothman, R. L., & Elasy, T. A. (2010). Preventing glycaemic relapse in recently controlled type 2 diabetes patients: A randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia, 53(5), 832-839.