Thursday, July 30, 2009

Diabetics can lower heart attack risk

CAMBRIDGE, England (UPI) -- A meta-analysis found people who have diabetes but maintain low-blood sugar levels are at less risk for heart attacks, researchers in Britain say.

Dr. Kausik Ray of the University of Cambridge and colleagues said the meta-analysis pooled information from five large trials.

The study, published in The Lancet, determined there was a 17 percent reduction in heart attacks and a 15 percent reduction in coronary heart disease. The study also found a more modest trend toward reduction of strokes with intensive control of glucose levels compared with standard care.

The researchers, in contrast to smaller studies that suggested possible harm from better blood sugar control, found no adverse impact on the risk of death from any cause.

The five trials involved more than 33,000 individuals, including 1,497 heart attack cases, 2,318 cases of coronary heart disease and 1,227 strokes.

"Previous studies have been inconclusive, leaving diabetics and their doctors unsure as to whether maintaining lower blood-sugar levels actually benefited the patients," Ray, the lead author, said in a statement.

"Although additional research needs to be conducted, our findings provide insight into the importance of improving glucose levels, which should include lifestyle changes as well as medication."
Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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