Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diabetics' Heart Attack Risk Can Be Reduced, Research Finds

Date:
May 25, 2009
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
People with diabetes who maintain intensive, low blood sugar levels are significantly less likely to suffer heart attacks and coronary heart disease, new research has shown.

People with diabetes who maintain intensive, low blood sugar levels are significantly less likely to suffer heart attacks and coronary heart disease, new research published in The Lancet has shown.

Related Articles


By undertaking a meta-analysis which pooled information from five large trials, researchers at the University of Cambridge were for the first time able to provide reliable evidence linking intensive blood sugar level (or glucose) control with fewer heart attacks.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, pointed to a 17 % reduction in heart attacks and a 15 % reduction in coronary heart disease. However, the study found a more modest trend towards reduction in strokes with intensive control of glucose levels compared to standard care. Importantly, in contrast to smaller studies which had suggested possible harm from better blood sugar control, there were no adverse effects on deaths from any cause.

It is well documented that diabetics are at increased risk of heart disease. Even though patients can reduce their risk by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and cholesterol reduction, the risk remains high.

Dr Kausik Ray of the University of Cambridge, lead author of the study, said: "Previous studies have been inconclusive, leaving diabetics and their doctors unsure as to whether maintaining lower blood sugar levels actually benefitted the patients. Although additional research needs to be conducted, our findings provide insight into the importance of improving glucose levels which should include lifestyle changes as well as medication."

The five trials involved more than 33,000 individuals, including 1497 heart attack cases, 2,318 cases of coronary heart disease, and 1227 strokes. In order to assess the possible risk of various heart conditions, Dr Ray and his team analyzed the data collected on the glucose levels in blood, specifically a long-term marker of glucose control called HbA1c. In healthy individuals, HbA1c levels average between 4-5%. However, diabetics often have levels above 6.5%.

In the present study, those taking a standard treatment maintained a HbA1c level of 7.5%. Individuals who underwent intensive treatment to lower their blood sugar level were 0.9% lower than those who underwent standard treatment (average 6.6%), thereby dramatically reducing their risk of disease in large blood vessels.

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: "It is well established that carefully controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes can help prevent disease in small blood vessels that leads to kidney failure and blindness. This collective analysis of several large clinical trials suggests that careful blood sugar control also protects against heart attacks and strokes, the major causes of death in people with diabetes.

"These findings emphasise the importance of detecting and treating diabetes as early as possible, thus preventing the chances of developing heart and circulatory disease."

Dr Ray concluded: "The present findings reinforce the need for diabetic patients to achieve and maintain better control of blood sugars long-term, as a means to reduce risk of heart disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cambridge. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Effect of intensive control of glucose on cardiovascular outcomes and death in patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The Lancet, 23 May 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Diabetics' Heart Attack Risk Can Be Reduced, Research Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090521200807.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2009, May 25). Diabetics' Heart Attack Risk Can Be Reduced, Research Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090521200807.htm
University of Cambridge. "Diabetics' Heart Attack Risk Can Be Reduced, Research Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090521200807.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins