New York: Researchers from University of Pittsburgh have revealed that people with Type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood glucose soon after diagnosis are likely to live longer than those who don't.
Data from a long-running trial and follow-up observational study funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), with participants from 27 academic medical centres in the US and Canada, showed a 33 percent reduction in deaths over the past several decades among participants who had early, good control of their blood glucose.
"We can now confidently tell doctors and patients that good, early control of blood glucose greatly reduces any risk for early mortality in people with Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and young adults," said lead author Trevor Orchard, professor of epidemiology.
Type 1 diabetes happens when the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar into energy.
By regularly monitoring their blood glucose levels and adjusting doses of insulin accordingly, patients can work to keep their blood glucose in a normal range.
"The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the subsequent Epidemiology of Diabetes Control and Complications (EDIC) observational study have significantly changed treatment protocols for Type 1 diabetes and improved the outlook for people with the condition over the past several decades," explained Griffin P. Rodgers, director of NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Thanks to the findings over the years from the landmark DCCT/EDIC study, millions of people with diabetes may prevent or delay debilitating and often fatal complications from the disease, Rodgers added.
While the study found an association between intensive blood glucose control and decreased mortality in people with type 1 diabetes, the results cannot be extended to people with Type 2 diabetes.
The findings are detailed in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).