Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Diabetes treatment may help cut vision loss

Bloomberg News (7/28, Ferrer) reports that, according to a study published July 27 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, "type 1 diabetics cut their rates of vision loss, kidney damage, and heart disease when they maintained long-term, intensive insulin therapy." In fact, "patients who got three or more insulin shots per day reduced their incidence of eye damage to 21 percent compared with 50 percent of the conventionally treated patients, who got one to two injections daily," while "rates of kidney damage dropped to nine percent from 25 percent with the intensive therapy." To reach these conclusions, researchers from Harvard Medical School followed 1,441 patients from three studies.
"Long-term follow-up of clinical trial participants who got intensive therapy that's now considered standard care revealed that 21 percent developed proliferative retinopathy, nine percent had nephropathy, and nine percent had cardiovascular disease after 30 years with type 1 diabetes," MedPage Today (7/27, Phend) reported. And, "in the same trial, standard therapy circa 1983 yielded long-term complication rates of 50 percent, 25 percent, and 14 percent, respectively." MedPage also noted that "intensive therapy has gotten a bad rap recently in type 2 diabetes in trials such as ACCORD and the VA Diabetes Trial in which treating to a target under the standard seven percent showed no cardiovascular benefit and increased mortality." The study authors pointed out that "the reason for the mortality risk is still under debate, but there's no such concern in type 1 diabetes."

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