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.

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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%.

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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.

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Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor