Author(s): Wang PH, Lau J, Chalmers TC
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Abstract Tight blood glucose control has been speculated to reduce late complications in insulin-dependent diabetics but results from individual studies have been inconsistent. We have done a meta-analysis of sixteen randomised trials of intensive therapy to estimate its impact on the progression of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy and the risks of severe side-effects. In the intensive therapy group, the risk of retinopathy progression was insignificantly higher after 6-12 months of intensive control (odds ratio [OR] 2.11). After more than two years of intensive therapy the risk of retinopathy progression was lower (OR 0.49 [95\% confidence interval 0.28-0.85], p = 0.011). The risk of nephropathy progression was also decreased significantly (OR 0.34 [0.20-0.58], p < 0.001). The incidence of severe hypoglycaemia increased by 9.1 episodes per 100 person-years (95\% Cl -1.4 to +19.6) in the intensively treated patients. The incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis increased by 12.6 episodes per 100 person-years (95\% Cl, 8.7-16.5) in the patients on continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. Long-term intensive blood glucose control significantly reduces the risk of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy progression but long-term continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion was associated with an increased incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis, and intensive therapy may cause more severe hypoglycaemic reactions.
This article was published in Lancet
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism