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Diabetes is also heart disease

Rigorous control of blood sugar won't save diabetics the heart ravages which come with the disease, new studies show. Instead diabetics need to treat themselves as we heart patients do.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Cantrell Johnson, preacher and friend of the authorRigorous control of blood sugar won't save diabetics the heart ravages which come with the disease, new studies show.

Instead diabetics need to treat themselves as we heart patients do, with statins, blood pressure control, diet, exercise and a baby aspirin before bedtime. Their current regimen for controlling blood sugar may be as good as it gets.

The results of the studies shocked some researchers, and there was some disagreement over the Australian study, which showed the strict regimen cut back on eye and kidney damage.

The Australia study was done by the ADVANCE Collaborative Group, and covered far more people in far more countries than the American study, which was called ACCORD.

Critics noted that the Australian study was backed by Servier Labs, a French company which provided one of the drugs studied. Defenders quickly noted Servier had no influence on how the study was done or its results.

But in sicker patients those with strict sugar controls actually had higher death rates, from heart attack and stroke, than those without. This was seized by some Americans as evidence that strict control is counter-productive.

As with the earlier ENHANCE study on cholesterol, which led many to question the link between a cholesterol number and heart disease, the real lesson here may be that diabetes, like heart disease, is complicated.

It's also likely that doctors will decide not to change their advice to diabetics in light of this study, as they haven't changed their recommendations to heart patients based on ENHANCE.

All of which leads me to question what I'll tell friends like the neighbor above, who are diabetics. Rather than depress him with the failure of ADVANCE and ACCORD I think I'll just say we have more in common than before -- under the skin.

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