Government-Backed Study Suggests Mixed Results With Intensive Diabetes Treatments
Posted Jun 30 2010 2:38am
The ACCORD study has just been presented at the 70th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Orlando, Florida.
Aggressive drug treatment to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol in diabetics does little to prevent heart disease and strokes, but it does help prevent diabetic eye disease, nerve and kidney disease, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
The 5-year study had been halted, temporarily, in February 2008 when it was noted there was a 20% increased death rate in "intensively-treated" diabetics with heart disease. Those patients were then transferred into the control group of the study.
Therefore, there was little impact on "macrovascular" (large blood vessel) problems, but a reduction in some "microvascular" (small blood vessel)complications such as retinopathy (eye disease), neuropathy and proteinuria (suggesting kidney function complications) was seen with intensive therapy.
The study underscores the need to evaluate each patient as an individual.
The researchers on the study, called ACCORD, set out to prove what most experts had already assumed -- that lowering a diabetic's blood sugar to near-normal levels would prevent serious heart complications, a chief killer of people with type 2 diabetes.