Tight Management of Type 1 Diabetes Reduces Diabetes-Related Eye Surgery Risk

eyeballA new study has confirmed that tight management of Type 1 diabetes can reduce the risk of requiring diabetes-related eye surgery by as much as 50 percent. The study was lead by Dr. David Nathan, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center in Boston. The findings were published to the April 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


For people that have trouble meeting blood sugar targets that were set for the people that were participating in the study, there was only an improvement of 10 percent in hemoglobin A1C but this lead to a 35 percent reduction in the risk of eye surgery related to diabetes.


The general goal with regard to A1C that is given to Type 1 diabetes patients is under 7 percent. A lower A1C is considered to be better. Low blood sugar levels can be dangerous while high blood sugar levels can result in long-term problems, such as diabetes eye disease.


In this study, the researchers looked at two studies that were previously done that included more than 1,000 people with Type 1 diabetes. The findings showed that people who had received intensive management for blood sugar levels ended up having less diabetes-related eye surgeries. While the individuals that received conventional therapy for diabetes had higher rates of people having diabetes-related eye surgery.


For the people that received the intensive therapy, the risk of requiring cataract surgery was 48 percent lower than the conventional group. The risk requiring a vitrectomy, or retinal-detachment surgery—or both surgeries—was reduced 45 percent.

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