The British researchers have found that tight blood sugar control can help the type 2 diabetes patients especially in the first 10 years after diagnosis. It can reduce problems like heart attack and even death.
However, the same can not be applied for the for type 2 diabetics who control their blood pressure for five years after diagnosis.
For the first study, more than 4,200 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to either a restricted diet aimed at improving blood sugar or to intensive blood sugar control with medicines such as insulin or metformin. The patients were followed for an average of about 10 years. Then, for 5 years after the trial ended, patients were asked to check in at clinics annually, but they were no longer mandated to follow any particular blood sugar-lowering treatment.
The lead researcher of the study is Rury Holman, a professor of diabetic medicine and director of the Diabetes Trials Unit at the University of Oxford.
He and other co-researchers have randomly assigned more than 4,200 patients with type 2. They were either assigned a restricted diet aimed at improving blood sugar or to intensive blood sugar control with medicines such as insulin or metformin. The patients were followed for an average of about 10 years. Then, for 5 years after the trial ended, patients were asked to check in at clinics annually, but they were no longer mandated to follow any particular blood sugar-lowering treatment.
Holman’s team found that, overall, patients who had initially received intensive blood sugar control with metformin during the 10 years of the trial had a 21 percent reduction in microvascular disease, heart attack, and all-cause mortality during the post-trial 5-year period — when many had adopted less stringent blood sugar control.
In fact, these patients reduced their long-term risk of heart attack by 33 percent, the team found. Their overall risk of death was also reduced by 27 percent, compared to patients who had not entered into medicinal blood sugar control during the trial.
This leads Holman to believe that control of blood sugar, rather than blood pressure, may be the most effective way to help diabetics over the long-term, in terms of reducing diabetes-linked complications.The bottom line: Strict control of blood sugar appears to have healthful effects that last long after such strategies end, the team found.
“The full benefit of blood pressure lowering was achieved during the trial, but for glucose, the benefits persisted and increased with time in the intensively treated group, even though glucose levels no longer differed with respect to the conventional group.”