PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –It is something that I know I have pushed for — getting patients to lower blood sugars in type 2 diabetes because it is known to reduce the risk of a heart attack and other health problems. But getting it too low is not good.
According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors now have confirmed a specific target for lowering blood sugar. The goal is to get a measurement called the hemoglobin a1c to about seven percent and not much lower.
This study followed 10,000 diabetic patients, and found that those with blood sugars below the a1c target of 6% actually had a 21% increased risk of death compared to the people whose blood sugar was around or slightly above 7%.
You might be asking why more is better? We really don’t know why more people died in the group with the lower a1c, but one concern is that it takes a lot of medication to get the blood sugar way down, and maybe that could be a problem.
Again, it is important to lower the number, but to a point. Your doctor can look at what is best for you specifically.
Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor