Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Maintenance of blood glucose levels at a near-normal range beginning as soon as possible after diagnosis halves the rate of certain complications in people with long-standing Type 1 diabetes, according to research recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Using data from participants in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study (a follow-up to the DCCT), and the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications (EDC) study, the researchers compared the rates of eye, kidney, and cardiovascular complications in three groups of people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes an average of 30 years earlier. One group consisted of people assigned to intensive blood glucose control in the DCCT and EDIC (as defined in these studies, that means an HbA1c of 6% or less); a second group consisted of people assigned to conventional blood glucose control in the DCCT and EDIC; and a third group was comprised of people matched by age, duration of diabetes, and degree of eye damage to the DCCT and EDIC participants.

The investigators found that, after having diabetes for 30 years, people randomly assigned to intensive control in the DCCT had a 21% rate of eye damage, less than half the 50% rate of damage seen in people assigned to conventional blood glucose control in that study. Moreover, people from the intensive-control group had a 9% rate of kidney damage and a 9% rate of cardiovascular events, compared to a 25% rate of kidney damage and a 14% rate of cardiovascular events among those in the conventional control group. The rates of complications were also lower among people in the intensively controlled DCCT group than in EDC study group participants, who had a 47% rate of eye damage, a 17% rate of kidney damage, and a 14% rate of cardiovascular events.

According to lead author David M. Nathan, MD, “When intensive therapy, now the standard of care, is implemented early in the course of diabetes, most patients with Type 1 diabetes should be able to avoid the disastrous long-term complications that were so common in the past.”

For more information, read the article “Intensive Glucose Control Halves Complications of Longstanding Type 1 Diabetes,” or see the study’s abstract on the Web site of the Archives of Internal Medicine.


  1. There are no comments at this time.

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Type 1 Diabetes
Researcher Seeks Type 1 Diagnosis Experiences (04/14/14)
What's Your Diabetes "Type"? Gestational, MODY, and Steroid-Induced (04/15/14)
"Get Diabetes Right" Initiative (04/07/14)
Study to Evaluate Needle-Free Glucagon Treatment (04/09/14)

Diabetic Complications
What You Need to Know About UTIs (03/24/14)
Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Risk of PAD (02/12/14)
Don't Call My Liver Fat! (12/16/13)
Neuropathy Common in Young Adults (12/13/13)

Diabetes Research
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)
Diabetes Developed at Midlife May Affect Brain Function in Old Age (03/21/14)
Many Americans Taking Meds That Work Against Each Other (03/14/14)

Diane Fennell
FDA Approves Weekly Type 2 Diabetes Medicine (04/18/14)
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
FDA Panel Votes in Favor of Inhalable Insulin; Diet Drug Recalled (04/09/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.

Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Subscription questions