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Intensive Glycemic Control May Ward Off Cardiovascular Events

But study showed it's not enough to prevent related deaths

THURSDAY, June 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive glycemic control appears to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the June 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Rodney Hayward, M.D., a senior research scientist at the VA Center for Clinical Management Research and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues collected follow-up data on 1,791 military veterans enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial. In that trial, patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to have their blood glucose strictly controlled or not as tightly controlled.

The glycated hemoglobin in the intensive control group was 6.9, on average. For those on standard care, the glycated hemoglobin average was 8.4, according to the study. Over an average follow-up of almost 10 years, those who had their blood glucose strictly controlled had a significantly lower risk of heart attack, stroke, new or worsening heart failure, or amputation for ischemic gangrene, compared with patients whose blood glucose wasn't as strictly controlled. Strict glycemic control had no effect on overall survival, the researchers noted.

"This finding reinforces the importance of combining good blood sugar control with control of other cardiovascular risk factors for a combined effect, especially controlling cholesterol and blood pressure," Hayward told HealthDay.

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