Research studies have found that improved glycemic control benefits people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetics monitor their glycemic control on a daily basis using a home glucose monitor. To assess the overall blood glucose control as an average over a three month time period, a glycated hemoglobin or A1C test is performed by a medical laboratory. The A1C test measures glucose that over time has attached to the hemoglobin protein bound on the red blood cells with the results expressed as a percentage of glucose.14 In general, for every 1% reduction in the results of A1C blood tests (e.g., from 8.0% to 7.0%), the risk of developing microvascular diabetic complications (eye, kidney, and nerve disease) is reduced by 40%.4 Elevated HbA1c levels above 7% can increase the risk of long-term complications, given that such a reading is correlated with poorly controlled hyperglycemia.14
Blood Pressure Control
Blood pressure control can reduce cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) by approximately 33% to 50% and can reduce microvascular disease (eye, kidney, and nerve disease) by approximately 33%. In general, for every 10 millimeters of mercury reduction in systolic blood pressure, the risk for any complication related to diabetes is reduced by 12%.4,15,16
Control of Blood Lipids
Improved control of cholesterol or blood lipids, including HDL (high density lipoprotein – “good” cholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver for removal from the body), LDL (low density lipoprotein – “bad” cholesterol, most abundant and tends to accumulate on artery walls) and triglycerides, can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50%.16,17
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