The American Medical Association today published the results of a large and long study that is good news for anyone who has diabetes. The study shows that intensive control substantially lowers the risk of some serious complications of diabetes.
No surprise that intensive control works. But the surprise is how well it works.
The study followed 1,375 people with type 1 diabetes for 30 years of their diabetes. The complications measured were proliferative retinopathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease. Conventional treatment led half of them to proliferative retinopathy, one-quarter to nephropathy, and 14 percent to cardiovascular disease.
Those in the intensive therapy group has substantially lower rates of these complications — 21 percent, 9 percent, and 9 percent respectively. Fewer than 1 percent became blind, required kidney replacement, or had an amputation because of diabetes during those 30 years.