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Intensive Therapy Cuts Complication Risk for Diabetics

Reduces risk of vascular and neurologic complications of type 1 diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive therapy aimed at glycemic control reduces the risk of vascular and neurologic complications in type 1 diabetes, according to a study in the Dec. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

David M. Nathan, M.D., writing committee chairman of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Study Research Group, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,441 type 1 diabetes patients to intensive or conventional therapy for a mean of 6.5 years between 1983 and 1993.

A 17-year follow-up showed that intensive treatment lowered cardiovascular disease events by 42%. "Intensive diabetes therapy has long-term beneficial effects on the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes," the authors write.

However, William T. Cefalu, M.D., of the Louisiana State University System in Baton Rouge, writes in an editorial in the same issue that "the medical community needs better means, different strategies and a different mind-set if we hope to improve and maintain glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes and minimize side effects."

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