Control sugar levels sooner to guard against heart attacks, new study finds

Control sugar levels sooner to guard against heart attacks, new study finds

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.

The study from the University of 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 individuals with varied blood sugar levels 12-months after diagnosis are more likely to experience dangerous cardiovascular events. 

Dr Martin Whyte, co-author of the study and Reader in Metabolic Medicine at the University of Surrey, said: “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.”  

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.

The study has been published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 

Photo by buchachon

Author: Eileen Gilbert