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Lower blood glucose levels reduce heart disease risk, says new research

New research claims that people with diabetes can cut their risk of a heart attack if they lower their blood glucose levels.

The study by researchers at the University of Cambridge pooled the information collected on 33,000 patients across five trials.


About the study

They found that intensive treatment of Type 2 diabetes led to 17 per cent fewer heart attacks.

How the study was conducted

In the study, people in the standard group maintained blood glucose levels at an average of 7.5 per cent HbA1c, while those in the intensive group maintained HbA1c levels of an average of 6.6 per cent.

The study's findings

The study found that the second group had 17 per cent fewer heart attacks and 15 per cent less chance of heart disease compared with the first group.

However, it also found this did not reduce the number of deaths.

Reducing diabetes complications

“This research is a meta-analysis which looks at five individual studies and reinforces the importance of good blood glucose control in people with diabetes," said Dr Victoria King, Research Manager at Diabetes UK.

“Diabetes UK advises that people with diabetes should work towards keeping their blood glucose levels within the target ranges agreed with their healthcare team. This reduces the risk of long-term diabetes complications such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke as well as short-term diabetes complications such as hypoglycaemia.”

Target blood glucose levels

For someone without diabetes, the glucose levels in the blood average between 4 and 5 per cent using a measurement called HbA1c (glycosolated haemoglobin). For people with diabetes, these levels can be much higher, but, with the help of medication and lifestyle changes, the person should aim to keep them either under 6.5 per cent or 7.5 per cent if they are at risk of hypoglycaemia (hypo).

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