A major diabetes study in America has been halted following a rise in the number of deaths among the participants who had been more intensely managed and treated than normal. The National Institute of Health (NIH) stopped part of the ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study 18 months early.
The study looked at 10,000 middle-aged and older people with Type 2 diabetes at high risk of of cardiovascular disease. It set out to prove that if people with diabetes lowered their blood glucose levels to near-normal they would no longer be at high risk of dying from heart disease.
However, the study was halted after it reported 257 deaths in the group of people who were aggressively treated compared to 203 deaths in the group with standard treatment.
Good blood glucose control
Researchers do not yet know why there is a difference between these groups.
"More research is needed but we recommend that people with diabetes continue to strive for good blood glucose control as the importance of glucose control in diabetes is firmly established," said Zoe Harrison, Diabetes UK Care Advisor.
"Treatment should be tailored to the individual's needs and people with diabetes should not alter their treatment without consulting their healthcare team."