Warding off diabetes complications early

Researchers randomly assigned 1441 patients with type 1 diabetes to 6.5 years of intensive diabetes therapy aimed at achieving near-normal glucose concentrations, or to conventional diabetes therapy aimed at preventing hyperglycaemic symptoms. Participants were followed-up over a median of 22 years.

Participants in the intensive diabetes group had an average HbA1c of 7.3%, compared with 9.1% for participants in the conventional therapy group.

Intensive therapy halved the risk of impaired glucose filtration rates, but the benefit was only evident more than 10 years after the patients were randomised in the initial trial. 

End-stage kidney disease developed in eight participants in the intensive diabetes therapy group and 16 in the conventional therapy group.