October 3, 2012

Money Can’t Save Us From Type 1 Complications


Sad but true, a new study published in PLOS Medicine found that people with Type 1 diabetes, despite being in a higher income bracket and having access to the latest and greatest diabetes management, continue to be associated with higher CVD and death rates than the non-diabetic population.

The analysis of the study was compared to results from data gathered from 20,000 patients between the years of 2005-2008. The compared results found that people with Type 1 diabetes have 2 to 3 times the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or premature death than the general population. This risk is greater in women than it is in men.

The compared data also found a high number of deaths from coma in younger people with diabetes. These deaths were attributed to either an extremely high or an extremely low blood sugar level.

The researchers found something extremely perplexing. Although the population studied in this dataset were of higher income, they noted that the majority of patients had poorly controlled blood glucose levels, with only 13% having HbA1c levels within target range.

The authors said that the overall risk of death due to CVD related complications in Type 1 diabetes is lower compared to earlier studies. The death rate of people with Type 1 diabetes continues to be higher than those who do not have diabetes.

It is undisputable blood glucose control matters. It matters a lot. I’ll be the first person to admit that bigger, better, faster, more does not always equate to tighter control in diabetes. It’s a fair debate to argue the answer to lowering diabetes complications may not be entirely in glucose control. It’s a huge part of the equation. But could something still be missing?

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