Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: New Blog and Slide Presentation on the Diabetes Best Practices Website Discuss the Most Recent Studies in this Field

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The control of blood sugar and its possible role in preventing cardiovascular disease is the focus of discussion on a new blog for health care professionals.

For now, appropriate management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other cardiovascular risk factors appears to be the most effective approach to preventing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

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Does the control of blood sugar, an important part of treatment for people with type 2 diabetes, contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease? While earlier studies suggested that patients with diabetes who were put on a regimen of blood sugar control would also benefit in preventing cardiovascular disease, several more recent studies are inconclusive on this point.

Health care professionals who want more information on this topic and would like to discuss it with their peers can now find free downloadable set of slides as well as an interactive BLOG on the http://www.diabetesbestpractices.com website.

The slide presentation focuses on the findings of the latest study in this field, The Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT).

In the VADT study a comparison was made between patients with diabetes who were put on a standard treatment program for the reduction of blood sugar and those who were given an intensive glucose control regimen.

The study found no significant difference between the treatment groups in any component of the primary outcome that included first time occurrence of a major cardiovascular event and there was no difference in the rate of death from any cause. In addition there was no difference in microvascular complications.

The VADT study concludes that "For now, appropriate management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other cardiovascular risk factors appears to be the most effective approach to preventing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality."

In light of these findings, Dr. Anthony McCall, Professor of Diabetes at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and contributing to the blog on the Diabetes Best Practices website, asks the following questions: "Although the ACCORD, ADVANCE, UKPDS 80, and VADT are different studies, is it possible that reducing hyperglycemia does not have the same cardiovascular benefits that the treatment of other CV risk factors may have or do we need to wait for longer term results to observe glycemic benefits for cardiovascular disease? Could there be different benefits depending on the type of medication used to control hyperglycemia? Other important questions include: what role does hypoglycemia play in adverse CV impact of controlling diabetes and do diabetes duration and co-morbidities suggest need for caution in intensifying glycemic control. "

"We hope that the slide presentation and the blog area on the Diabetes Best Practices website will encourage fruitful discussion on this topic," said Dr. McCall who emphasized that "comprehensive care for diabetes includes the treatment of all vascular risk factors not just hyperglycemia and that the evidence from all these trials does not
indicate a need for major changes in glycemic control targets or therapies." He added that "there is also a need for longer-term studies to determine if benefits exist after longer glycemic control has been realized."

The Diabetes Best Practices website is a collaborative project of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Embryon and is supported by an educational grant from sanofi-aventis U.S.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is the nation's largest health sciences university. UMDNJ-Center for Continuing and Outreach Education (UMDNJ-CCOE) is the university's accrediting unit sponsoring national and international continuing medical education for a wide range of healthcare professionals.

Embryon is a medical communications provider to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Lori Downs
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