Preventing Long-Term Diabetes Health Problems
People with diabetes are at risk for heart and blood vessel, eye, kidney, and nerve problems. Keeping blood glucose levels under control was thought to help prevent these problems, but there was no proof until the 1990s. Results of studies showed that blood glucose levels close to normal decreased the risk for diabetes-related long-term health problems. Findings from two of these studies are listed here.
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) Study
This 10-year study compared people with type 1 diabetes who kept their blood glucose close to normal (average blood glucose of 155 mg/dl) with those who had average blood glucose values of just over 200 mg/dl. The study showed that keeping blood glucose levels near normal range delayed the onset and slowed the progression of the eye, kidney, and nerve complications.
United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS)
This study looked at people with type 2 diabetes. The results of this study showed that people with type 2 diabetes who kept their blood glucose values close to normal were less likely to develop the long-term health problems seen in people with diabetes. This study also showed that keeping blood pressure within normal range reduced the risk of strokes, diabetes-related deaths, heart failure, and vision loss.
To view a list of common problems and the subsequent effects resulting from diabetes health complications, click here.