-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, May 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive insulin
therapy may boost survival in people with type 2 diabetes who've
suffered a heart attack, a new study suggests.
Swedish researchers tracked outcomes for up to 20 years for 620
people with diabetes who were treated in hospital after a heart
Some patients received intensive insulin treatment, which
involved insulin-glucose infusion for at least 24 hours, followed
by insulin injections four times a day for at least three months.
Others received standard blood sugar-lowering therapy in which they
were given occasional insulin shots for a year.
Those who got the intensive insulin treatment survived an
average of two to three years longer than those who received
standard care, and the survival advantage lasted for at least eight
years after treatment and then leveled off, according to the
research team, which was led by Dr. Viveca Ritsinger of the
Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Those who benefited the most from intensive insulin treatment
included patients younger than 70 who had no previous heart attack
or history of congestive heart failure. Those who had not
previously had insulin therapy also tended to fare better when
placed on the regimen, according the researchers, who reporter
their findings May 12 in
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
But Ritsinger's team stressed that the study began in 1990, and
while the findings show that intensive insulin treatment boosts
survival in type 2 diabetes patients who have suffered a heart
attack, the benefits might not be so significant if the trial was
That's because of the many recent advances in the treatment of
type 2 diabetes patients with heart problems, including medications
that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, the researchers
Two experts in the United States agreed with that caveat.
"More recent trials have been less impressive in this regard, possibly due to the patients receiving therapy for high cholesterol and hypertension; both of which are standard therapy today but were less recognized and use at the time the [Swedish] study was begun," said Dr. Derek LeRoith, a professor of medicine endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.
Dr. Alyson Myers, an endocrinologist at North Shore University
Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., agreed that today's means of
controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol may have
dampened the findings' importance.
And, she added, there are risks with intensive insulin
treatment. "Although intensive control may prolong survival, it
also increases the risk for hypoglycemia," she said.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.