Intensive Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Best
Benefits of Intensive Type 1 Diabetes Therapy Persist
WebMD News Archive
Oct. 21, 2003 -- Intensive treatment of type 1 diabetes may
provide lasting benefits that reduce the risk of long-term complications from
the disease, a new study shows.
Researchers found the benefits of previous intensive-diabetes
therapy can last up to eight years. They also found that intensive therapy has
extended effects that may help delay or prevent the progression of
diabetes-related kidney and heart problems.
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that occurs when the
pancreas stops producing insulin because of an immune attack and destruction of
cells within the pancreas that produce insulin. It's much less common than type
2 diabetes and accounts for nearly 5% to 10% of all diabetes cases in the
Intensive Treatment, Lasting Benefits
The study, published in the Oct. 22-29 issue of The Journal
of the American Medical Association, looked at the long-term effects of
intensive vs. conventional treatment for type 1 diabetes on kidney
Kidney damage is a common complication of diabetes and is
thought to result from chronically high blood sugar levels that eventually
damage the kidney's ability to filter blood.
In the study, researchers followed 1,350 people with type 1
diabetes who participated in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial
(DCCT) for eight years after the study.
The DCCT was a landmark study which tested whether the
complications of diabetes were related to elevations in blood glucose. Two
groups of patients were followed -- a conventional-treatment (also called
standard treatment) group and an intensive-therapy group. The
conventional-treatment group rceived insulin injections twice a day and gluocse
monitoring to prevent severe increases in sugars. The intensive-therapy group
recieved mutiple injections of insulin or were on the insulin pump. This group
monitored their sugars wth a goal to obtain as near normal sugars as possible.
That study showed that there was a 60% reduction in complications of diabetes
in the intensive-therapy group.
In this study, which followed the groups another eight years
after completion of the DCCT, researchers wanted to see the long-term effect of
intensive therapy on kidney function. During this part of the follow-up the
blood glucose levels were no longer substantially different between the two
original treatment groups.