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Aggressive Diabetes Therapy May Raise Death Risk

Study Shows Intensive Treatment to Lower Blood Sugar Is Linked to Increased Risk of Death

5-Year Follow-up Confirms Risk continued...

The newly reported findings, published March 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine, extend the follow-up to five years.

Study co-investigator Robert Byington, MD, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, tells WebMD that the longer follow-up confirms the earlier mortality picture.

“There was the possibility that the mortality difference might go away with more follow-up, but that is not what we found,” he says.

The researchers conclude that intensive treatment to reduce blood sugar to below 6% HbA1c cannot be recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes who have a high risk for heart attack and stroke.

Kendall says the recommendation agrees with current American Diabetes Association treatment guidelines.

“Achieving (hemoglobin A1c) levels in the 7% range provides significant protection for the eyes, the nerves, and the kidneys, but going lower does not seem to add additional benefits in terms of cardiovascular risk,” he says.

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