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Defeat Diabetes
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Intensive Diabetes Treatment Can Lower Resting Heart Rate

Posted: Friday, September 07, 2007

Intensive blood glucose control in type 1 diabetic patients is associated with a lowering of resting heart rate, according to a new report. 

Dr. Andrew D. Paterson of the University of Toronto, Canada stated that, "This effect may partially explain why the intensive insulin treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease in those with type 1 diabetes,"

"Resting heart rate (RHR) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the general population, and case-control studies have reported a higher RHR in individuals with type 1 diabetes," Dr. Paterson and colleagues note.

As part of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, 1,441 type 1 diabetic patients had their RHR measured every 2 years, for up to 8 years. In the follow-up study to the DCCT -- the Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications (EDIC) study -- RHR was measured annually for 10 years.

An analysis of the DCCT/EDIC RHR data "support and extend the association of diabetes with faster RHR and of higher levels of glycemia with RHR previously demonstrated in cross-sectional studies," the researchers report.

During the DCCT, intensive treatment was associated with lower RHR than conventional treatment, both in adolescents (p = 0.013) and adults (p = 0.0014). During the EDIC follow up study, the difference in RHR favoring intensive diabetes treatment remained.

Summing up, Dr. Paterson said, "In this study, patients with type 1 diabetes who controlled their blood glucose within the normal range had a lower heart rate than those whose blood glucose control was not as good."

Furthermore, "This effect occurred within 2 years after the start of the intensive insulin treatment ... and persisted for at least 10 years after the end of the treatment," he added.

Source: Diabetes In Control: Diabetes Care Aug. 2007; 30:2107-2112

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