Docs Shelve Diabetes Study After Deaths

Findings contradict long-held doctrine of lowering blood sugar
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 10:16 PM CST
Is lowering blood sugar aggressively the best option for diabetics? A new study casts doubt on the long-held belief. (AP GRAPHIC)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Researchers have abruptly tabled a major study measuring the effects of lowering diabetics' blood sugar after a surprising number of deaths among participants. The results come as a shock to the medical community, which has long held that lowering blood sugar through diet and medication is the only way for diabetics to stave off heart disease, the New York Times reports.

“It’s confusing and disturbing that this happened,” said one cardiologist. “For 50 years, we’ve talked about getting blood sugar very low." In the federal study of more than 10,000 people, there were 54 more deaths among those on an intense program to lower blood sugar than in a control group. The confusion over the findings may rival that surrounding recent studies about estrogen use for women, one doctor notes.