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Tight Control in Type 1 Reduces Heart Disease Risk

separator A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that people with type 1 who use tight control to manage their blood sugar have a reduced risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque, or fatty substances, build up in the arteries. This buildup makes it difficult for blood to flow, which in turn increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In the study, which was a follow-up to the previous Diabetes Control and Complications Trial that studied the benefits of tight control, researchers measured the thickness of arteries in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain. Thicker walls indicate a buildup of plaque. Results showed that people who practiced tight control had less arterial thickening than the participants who practiced standard control.

Heart disease is one of the common complications of diabetes. If you’re interested in practicing tight control to reduce your risk not only of heart disease but also of eye, kidney and nerve damage, talk with your doctor about whether tight control is a good option for you. Your healthcare team can help you learn exactly what you need to do.

For more information about tight control, see this issue’s article, Managing Types 1 and 2 with Tight Control.

New England Journal of Medicine, 5 June 2003.
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