Regular visitors know that I’ve had diabetes for 10 years or so. And that getting & keeping my blood sugar under control was the biggest reason for my weight loss adventure. Oh, and why I’m interested in eating issues in general. People in my family who don’t keep control diabetes die at age 62. If they control it? 93 or more.
That’s what I thought, anyway….
From the New York Times:
Tight Rein on Blood Sugar Has No Heart Benefits
The results provide more details and bolster findings reported in February, when one of the studies, by the National Institutes of Health, ended prematurely. At that time, researchers surprised diabetes experts with the announcement that study participants who were rigorously controlling their blood sugar actually had a higher death rate than those whose blood sugar control was less stringent.
Now the federal researchers are publishing detailed data from that study for the first time. Researchers in the second study, from Australia and involving participants from 20 countries, are also publishing their results on blood sugar and cardiovascular disease. That study did not find an increase in deaths, but neither did it find any protection from cardiovascular disease with rigorous blood sugar control.
Diabetes researchers say that the message is that patients should obtain at least moderate control of blood sugar to protect against eye, kidney and nerve disease. But for heart disease, they say, the only proven method of preventing complications is to give statins to control cholesterol, drugs to control blood pressure and aspirin to control blood clotting, and encourage people to lose weight and exercise.
The Australian study did find one advantage to strict blood sugar control — a slight reduction in new or worsening kidney disease. The rate among those with intense sugar control was 4.1 percent as compared with 5.2 percent among those with less intense control.
But researchers disagreed about whether the kidney disease effect in the Australian study was enough to advise patients to strive for rigorous blood sugar control. The Australian investigators said it was.
Others were not so sure. The kidney effect was “a modest benefit,” said Dr. David Nathan, director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. W. Douglas Weaver, president of the American College of Cardiology, agreed, saying, “It’s hard to get really excited about that data.”
And the excess deaths among patients in the intensive treatment group in the American study gave Dr. Nathan and others pause.
Oh, Really? (as I’ve been known to say)
The story goes on to say that Diabetes is treated very differently in Australia than here. So it’s not at all clear whether the results are because of the different medications or what? Which I guess explains why this story is buried deep inside the Health pages and not screaming from the front page.
What would our world be like without Wilfred Brimley selling us mail-order diabetes supplies?