Strict sugar control may harm elderly

US researchers estimated the effects of HbA1c reduction via oral agents or insulin on both diabetes outcomes and overall quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) using a Markov simulation model for patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study found that as simulated patients aged, the benefits of medication to lower HbA1c were gradually outweighed by the harms in terms of the impact on the patient’s quality of life.

For example, treatment that lowered HbA1c by 1% provided benefits ranging from between 0.77—0.91 QALYs for simulated patients who