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Innovation

Diabetes is still heart disease but treat it differently

Diabetes is dealt with best by eating right and staying active, along with basic control of blood sugar levels.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

One of the most popular stories I have done at ZDNet Healthcare was one titled "diabetes is also heart disease," illustrated by a picture of my neighbor Cantrell Johnson (right).

Rev. Johnson is still with us. He turned 70 last month.

But new research indicates his heart and mine have different treatment needs, according to stories published today at theNew England Journal of Medicine.

My incipient heart disease responded well to statins and blood pressure medication. Diabetes is dealt with best by eating right and staying active, along with basic control of blood sugar levels.

Rev. Johnson is a tiler and handyman during the week, and a pastor on the weekends. He walks the walk, then talks the talk.

My original story was posted after it was learned that strict control of blood sugar does not lower death rates. The news now is that intensive therapy to control cholesterol and blood pressure don't change the prognosis either.

The Journal took the step of producing two editorials on all this.

All this obscures the fact that diabetes control has improved in the last 10 years. Rev. Johnson is a good example of this.

He used to be quite overweight. After he was diagnosed he lost the weight, with the help of his lovely wife, who cut back on the fat in her cooking.

Weight control and sugar control are the keys to staying alive with diabetes, it turns out, and I pray  Rev. Johnson will be with us for many years to come.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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