Diabetes Study Haulted Due to Fatalities
Diabetes experts learned a shocking lesson this week when successfully lowering blood sugar may have resulted in death.
A clinical trial seeking to help people with diabetes has gone horribly awry. Patients who lowered their blood sugar to almost nondiabetic levels had an unexpectedly high death rate—almost 20 percent higher than study participants who had higher blood glucose readings. The researchers conducting the study have shut it down for patients who were in the group managing their diabetes most aggressively. See the Washington Post story Deaths Halt Part of Diabetes Study for more details.
Blood sugar management is a balancing act. Virtually everyone knows that high blood glucose is bad. Apparently keeping it consistently too low can be dangerous as well. Now researchers will attempt to determine why this happens.
My Diabetes Information has been an advocate of lowering blood sugar levels, based on literature that we have cited from reputable experts and publications. It is probably still good advice to strive for a hemoglobin A1C score below 6.5 percent.
However, if your hemoglobin A1C score is below 6.0 percent, it may be beneficial to check in with your doctor. Discuss how you got there, and see if your physician has any concerns about your situation.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) sponsored the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, and had more than 10,000 people participating at a number of hospitals and clinics throughout North America.