Blood pressure control may be more important than glycemic control in preventing diabetes-related deaths, according to the results of a new study.
Researchers who headed the ADVANCE trial, the largest diabetes trial ever conducted, focused on high blood pressure and blood glucose control and the impact controlling both had on mortality rates for diabetes.
The study, which included patients from 20 different countries, focused on certain drugs – specifically Preterax to treat hypertension and Diamicron, a sulfonylurea to control blood glucose – to treat the complications associated with diabetes.
During the initial study – as well as during a follow-up six years later, researchers found that blood pressure control reduced both cardiovascular incidents and overall mortality for diabetes patients, while tight blood sugar control did not show similar benefits.
Previous studies have shown that diabetes patients with high blood pressure have a greater risk of complications, and that lowering hypertension could also reduce the risk of those complications.
Blood glucose levels, have long been associated with many of the complications associated with diabetes, but the results of the ADVANCE study may cause researchers to take a second look.
“Among patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes, blood pressure-lowering treatment with perindopril-indapamide resulted in small but significant long-term benefits in respect to mortality from any cause and from cardiovascular causes,” researchers summarized. “On the other hand, strict glycemic control did not provide any long-term benefits with respect to mortality or major macrovascular events.”
The study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.