Intensive blood sugar control could protect diabetics against heart attack and stroke, new study reveals.
Australian researchers undertook a meta-analysis of four recent studies to generate more precise estimates of the effects of intensive glucose control on the risk of major cardiovascular events amongst patients with type 2 diabetes. (Meta-analysis is the statistical synthesis of data from a set of comparable studies of a problem.)
Diabetes mellitus is one of the greatest threats to the health of populations worldwide. Globally, there are approximately 250 million people with diabetes and that number is estimated to rise to 380 million in 2025, said The George Institute for International Health.
Researchers point out that patients without a history of heart disease appear to derive greater benefits compared to those patients who have already experienced heart complications. While the results showed an increased risk of hypoglycaemia (very low blood sugar levels) with intensive control, there was no evidence of increased risk in mortality. However, researchers suggest that glucose lowering regimens should be tailored to the individual patient
ADVANCE was a study initiated and designed by The George Institute and involved a group of independent medical researchers from 20 countries worldwide. It involved 11,140 patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated and followed up for five years. When combined with the other three major research studies, this meta-analysis was able to assess a total of 27,049 participants. It is hoped that these results will not only provide reassurance to clinicians and patients about the value of lowering glucose but also inform type 2 diabetes guidelines to improve management and prevent complications for the millions of patients worldwide.