High levels of glycosylated hemoglobin, or HA1c, may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events, such as heart disease and stroke, according to the new research. Two new studies show a strong link between blood sugar control and the development of heart disease and stroke.
In a six-year study of more than 10,000 people, investigators found a 21-percent increase in cardiovascular events for every percentage point increase in HA1c above 5 percent. The level of glycosylated hemoglobin was associated with these events even in people who did not have diabetes and who had HA1c levels within normal range.
An analysis of previous studies shows the risk for cardiovascular disease increased with increasing levels of glycosylated hemoglobin. However, the study did not prove better control of blood sugar would prevent cardiovascular disease.
Researchers suggest that further investigations be done to study whether improvements in glycemic control may improve health outcomes in people who do not have diabetes.