Friday, February 08, 2008

Recent Diabetes study in the news

Recent Diabetes study in the news.

I'm sure plenty of you have seen the articles in the news about the study to lower blood sugar was partially stopped due to increased deaths in 1 group.

"Among the study participants who were randomly assigned to get their blood sugar levels to nearly normal, there were 54 more deaths than in the group whose levels were less rigidly controlled. The patients were in the study for an average of four years when investigators called a halt to the intensive blood sugar lowering and put all of them on the less intense regimen." according to the NY Times.

Now, of course the medical industry is explaining, even tho the data hasn't been analyzed, what this means:

“It’s confusing and disturbing that this happened,” said Dr. James Dove, president of the American College of Cardiology. “For 50 years, we’ve talked about getting blood sugar very low. Everything in the literature would suggest this is the right thing to do,” he added.
“It will be similar to what many women felt when they heard the news about estrogen,” Dr. Hirsch said. “Telling these patients to get their blood sugar up will be very difficult.”

At the very end, there is this:
It might be that patients suffered unintended consequences from taking so many drugs, which might interact in unexpected ways, said Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Ya think?!?!?!

Keep in mind, not only was this group subjected to a program designed to "get their blood sugar levels to nearly normal", they were also aggressively treated for high BP and/or elevated cholesterol levels. And how were they treated? With high doses of multiple medications!

As one blogger pointed out, there are so many different drugs used, in so many different combinations, and so many different doses that it will be impossible to come up with any statistical reason for the deaths. And remember too, these people were also treated, often with multiple drugs for 1-2 other conditions....that we know of! How many drugs were these people taking for other conditions? (Not to mention their smoking status, their weight, activity level, gender, age, etc etc etc!)

Please, at least at this point in time, ignore these articles and continue to do what you've been doing!! All recent and past evidence indicates that the tighter the control and the closer to normal, the better the outcomes!

Back in the 70s, when all that was available, besides diet, was insulin and a handful of oral meds (designed only to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin) we saw fewer complications than we do today. We could predict sometimes which patients would do well, simply by how tightly controlled they were. Those that followed the diet (which was not ketogenic, but much lower carb than today's diet) and took their meds didn't have too many problems. But those that didn't take their meds, or stick with their diet, got all kinds of complications!

I seriously am starting to question the medical profession in the care of diabetics. I just don't understand how they can continue to encourage, no push, a high carb diet and then just keep adding meds! These statements are, in my opinion, criminal!

There are blogs all over the place about this subject and different takes on why we should continue what we're doing and ignore the advice of "experts". Here are links to a couple:
Dave Dixon's take at The Spark Of Reason,
Regina Wilshire's at The Weight of The Evidence, and
Jenny's at Diabetes Update.


OhYeahBabe said...

Great post, Cindy! Thank you! Unfortunately, I'm guessing the conclusions will follow the money. More drugs, new drugs, anything but eating better and avoiding excessive use of insulin.

It drives me batty when a study is so poorly designed & executed. It's like tossing cash onto a bonfire. Worse, stupid conclusions are drawn that just slow down real science!
My blog: Kimorexia

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, I saw a headline but assumed that the study was halted because the CONTROL group was having problems, not the treatment group.

I agree, to treat diabetes with meds while ignoring dietary approaches is just silly--and, as it turns out, dangerous.

Cindy Moore said... sound so cynical! Follow the money? Oh yea....that's the key in so many of these "studies". They just don't get it!

Crabby....I don't think they really ignored the diet....but I'm pretty sure it was the ADA's version of a "healthy diabetic" diet....which is higher in carb than is healthful for a non-diabetic!

I'm really looking forward to the "results" and more so to others interpreting the results and reporting them accurately! (Dr Mike and Regina Wilshire are always good for an accurate and honest dissection!)

OhYeahBabe said...

Sorry to sound cynical. I guess I just pay attention too much, LOL! You'd understand if you knew who pays my salary! :-)

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