Controlling blood sugar levels soon after type 2 diabetes diagnosis could prevent heart attacks

People with type 2 diabetes may need to reduce their blood sugar levels sooner after diagnosis than previously thought, to prevent major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, according to new research from the University of Surrey.

The study from Surrey suggests that controlling blood sugar levels within the first year of diagnosis reduces the incidence of major cardiovascular events. Furthermore, the team also found that the more a patient's blood levels varied 12-months after diagnosis, the more likely they were to experience dangerous cardiovascular events.

"The conventional wisdom has been to slowly and steadily treat type 2 diabetes with diet and medicine dose-escalation over years - the period over which it took people to reduce their sugar levels after diagnosis was thought less important for major vascular protection. However, our observational study suggests that getting blood levels under control quickly - within the first 12 months after diagnosis - will significantly help reduce cardiovascular events."

Dr Martin Whyte, co-author of the study and Reader in Metabolic Medicine at the University of Surrey

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that results in the level of sugar in the blood becoming too high. The condition is linked to obesity or a family history of type 2 diabetes and can increase a person's risk of getting serious health conditions.

The University of Surrey's study used Royal College of General Practitioners' Research and Surveillance Centre database to perform a comprehensive examination of glycaemic control achieved within the first year of diagnosis and subsequent blood sugar level variability with cardiovascular disease incidents.

Source:
Journal reference:

Whyte, M.B., et al. (2022) Early and ongoing stable glycaemic control is associated with a reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes: A primary care cohort study. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. doi.org/10.1111/dom.14705.

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