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Type 1 Diabetes

April 04, 2017

Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause damage to every organ system of the body. An estimated three out of five Americans with diabetes (57.9%) have one or more complications associated with diabetes. But the best way to prevent or slow diabetic complications is by achieving good control over blood sugar levels with healthy lifestyle changes, insulin, and other medications. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) found that for every 1 percentage point a patient reduces their A1C, they lower their risk of microvascular complications by 37 percent. The study also found that keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible slowed the progression of diabetes-related eye, kidney, and nerve diseases. A ten-year study of over 5,000 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes - The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) - found that the diabetes-related complications of retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy were reduced significantly in study subjects with type 2 diabetes who practiced intensive blood glucose control (i.e., a median A1C of 7%). In addition, for every percentage point reduction in A1C, patients achieved a 35% reduction in the risk of complications. The UKPDS also found that aggressive control of high blood pressure significantly reduced cardiovascular complications and diabetic retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes.

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