Diabetes Forecast

Don't Cut Back on Tight Blood Glucose Control

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,


Tight blood glucose management can help the heart and blood vessels, but for those benefits to last a lifetime, tight management must continue. That’s according to a long-term study of 1,791 U.S. veterans with type 2 diabetes who had an average A1C (an estimate of a person’s average blood glucose over the past two to three months) of 9.5 percent at the start of the study. They were randomly assigned to either intensive glucose management, with a target A1C of less than 6 percent, or standard glucose management, with a target A1C of less than 9 percent. After nearly six years, the intensive group’s average A1C level was 6.9 percent, versus 8.4 percent for those in the standard group. A decade later, the intensive group had 17 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes, cases of heart failure, amputations, and heart disease–related deaths than the standard group did. But after 15 years—when the average A1C in both groups was 8.8 percent—those benefits had disappeared. The bottom line: For lasting benefits, tight glucose management needs to be a lifelong plan, not a short-term goal.
Source: The American Diabetes Association 78th annual Scientific Sessions.



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