Intensive Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes Cuts Cardiovascular Risk
A new study in the December 22, 2005 issue of the
New England Journal of Medicine
found that, compared with conventional treatment, intensive treatment for type 1 diabetes decreased the risk of having a cardiovascular event (e.g.,
About the Study
This study included 1,441 people with type 1 diabetes. They were 13-40 years old when the study began, and did not have a history of cardiovascular disease,
During the study, 31 (4%) of the participants in the intensive treatment group had 46 cardiovascular events, and 52 (7%) of the participants in the conventional therapy group had 98 cardiovascular events. Compared with conventional treatment, intensive treatment was associated with a 42% reduction in cardiovascular risk. Intensive treatment was even more effective against the most severe events (heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease), reducing this risk by 57%.
How Does This Affect You?
These findings suggest that intensive treatment for type 1 diabetes significantly reduces the risk of having a cardiovascular event. In fact, the authors of this study say that the benefit of intensive treatment exceeds the benefits of other interventions, including cholesterol and blood pressure lowering medications.
This study strongly supports intensive treatment for people with type 1 diabetes (the authors conclude that “intensive therapy should be implemented as early as possible in people with type 1 diabetes”). Intensive treatment, however, is not without its drawbacks: it is difficult to sustain and increases the risk of hypoglycemia (symptoms due to excessively low blood glucose).
But what about
American Diabetes Association
National Diabetes Education Program
NIH study will test best ways to lower risk of heart disease and stroke in adults with type 2 diabetes. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/feb2003/nhlbi-20.htm . Accessed December 20, 2005.
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Study Research Group. Intensive diabetes treatment and cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes. NEJM . 2005;353:2643-2653.
Last reviewed Dec 21, 2005 by
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