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"Sugar monitoring cuts diabetics' heart risks"

Calgary Herald

Source: Calgary Herald

Published: 13 Jun 2022

Category: Diagnostic Test

Rating: (1½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

New research gives people with Type 1 diabetes another reason to keep their blood sugar levels under control: It could cut their risk of heart disease in half.

People with type 1 diabetes - also called juvenile diabetes -- have 10 times the risk of heart attack as those without. About 65 per cent will die early because of a heart attack or stroke. But new findings suggest it's possible to cut that number simply by diligently monitoring blood-sugar levels.

The findings were presented this weekend at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting in San Diego and come from a 20-year-long study co-chaired by Canada's Dr. Bernard Zinman of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 2 of 7
Availability of Test Satisfactory
Novelty of Test Not Applicable
Diagnostic Options Not Satisfactory
Disease Mongering Satisfactory
Evidence Not Satisfactory
Quantification of Diagnostic Accuracy/Benefits Not Satisfactory
Costs of Testing Not Satisfactory
Harms of Testing Not Applicable
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Control of blood glucose by diet and insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes is obviously important. This article reports on a 20 year trial in type 1 diabetes but there is no discussion of the type of study or the intervention that was studied. All benefits were reported as relative numbers and the report failed to give adequate details about the study's patient group who received "average treatment" or whether patients were randomized to this group, which impacts the generalizability of these results.

Nor was there any discussion of the negative impacts of tightly monitoring sugar levels for diabetics or how expensive it. The report also relies entirely on an interview with the study's author - Dr. Bernard Zinman.

Ideally, media reports on research findings, especially unpublished studies, should provide corroboration from independent experts. Failing this, the funding for the study should at least be mentioned. While it was reported that this trial should inform patients with type 2 diabetes, it is of no value since type 1 and type 2 diabetes are quite different.

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