Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is the most common form of diabetes in the civilized world. Its consequences include microvascular and macrovascular disease, both of which appear to evolve from a common background of obesity and physical inactivity. The current study was undertaken in obese patients with NIDDM to see whether improvements could be made in glycemic control as well as in many cardiovascular risk factors (obesity, hypertension, lipid abnormalities, and physical inactivity) that are typical of this condition. Fifteen obese insulin-using patients with NIDDM (average body mass index, 34.0) were treated with a 500-calorie formula diet for eight to 12 weeks. Administration of insulin and diuretics was discontinued at the onset of the study. A eucaloric diet was begun at eight to 12 weeks and maintained until Week 24. A behaviorally oriented nutrition-exercise program was instituted at the beginning of the study. Glipizide or placebo was added (randomized) at Week 15 if the fasting plasma glucose level in patients exceeded 115 mg/dl. Patients lost an average of 22 pounds over the course of 24 weeks. Frequency and duration of physical activity increased significantly from baseline, as did the maximal oxygen consumption rate. Glycemic control by 15 weeks (without insulin) was similar to baseline (with insulin). With the addition of glipizide at Week 15, both fasting plasma glucose and glucose tolerance improved significantly. This improvement was not observed with placebo. In addition, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased by about 10 mm Hg. There were no significant changes in the levels of serum lipids or glycosylated hemoglobin. In conclusion, a multifaceted intervention program, employing weight reduction, exercise, diet, and glipizide therapy, can be instituted in insulin-using patients with NIDDM, with improvement in glycemic control and in certain risk factors (hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity) for cardiovascular disease.
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