Very Low Blood Sugar Linked to Dementia
Study Raises Concerns About Aggressive Diabetes Treatment in Older Patients
Aggressive Treatment: Risks vs. Benefits continued...
"If you believe these findings, that means that just one episode of hypoglycemia can increase risk," he tells WebMD.
The dementia study is just the latest to raise safety concerns about the use of aggressive treatment to achieve tight glucose control in older patients.
Aggressive treatment to achieve blood sugar levels similar to those seen in people without diabetes was linked to an increased risk of death in older patients with type 2 diabetes participating in a large, ongoing clinical trial sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Over an average of 3.5 years of treatment, patients in the aggressive treatment arm of the study were 22% more likely to die than patients who were not treated as aggressively.
Jacobson says it is clear that a better understanding of the impact of aggressive treatment on older patients with type 2 diabetes is needed.
But he warns that it is too soon to change treatment, based on the research reported so far.
"It would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bath," he says. "We have a substantial body of research showing the benefits of improving glycemic control. But we also have to recognize that, like with any intervention, there may be a downside."