How tightly controlled do fluctuations in blood glucose levels need to be to reduce the risk of developing complications in people with Type 1 diabetes?

Livingstone, R. , Boyle, J.G. and Petrie, J.R. (2019) How tightly controlled do fluctuations in blood glucose levels need to be to reduce the risk of developing complications in people with Type 1 diabetes? Diabetic Medicine, (doi:10.1111/dme.13911) (PMID:30697804) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

In 2011, the James Lind Alliance published a ‘top 10’ list of priorities for Type 1 diabetes research based on a structured consultation process. Whether reducing fluctuations in blood glucose can prevent long‐term microvascular and macrovascular complications was one of these. In this narrative review, 8 years on, we have assessed the updated evidence for the assertion that increased glucose variability plays an independent and clinically important role in the complications of Type 1 diabetes, over and above mean blood glucose and the effects of hypoglycaemia: the ‘glucose variability hypothesis’. Although studies in cultured cells and ex vivo vessels have been suggestive, most studies in Type 1 diabetes have been small and/or cross‐sectional, and based on ‘finger‐prick’ glucose measurements that capture glucose variability only in waking hours and are affected by missing data. A recent analysis of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial that formally imputed missing data found no independent effect of short‐term glucose variability on long‐term complications. Few other high‐quality longitudinal studies have directly addressed the glucose variability hypothesis in Type 1 diabetes. We conclude that there is little substantial evidence to date to support this hypothesis in Type 1 diabetes, although increasing use of continuous glucose monitoring provides an opportunity to test it more definitively. In the meantime, we recommend that control of glycaemia in Type 1 diabetes should continue to focus on the sustained achievement of target HbA1c and avoidance of hypoglycaemia.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyle, Dr James and Livingstone, Dr Rachel and Petrie, Professor John
Authors: Livingstone, R., Boyle, J.G., and Petrie, J.R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Diabetic Medicine
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0742-3071
ISSN (Online):1464-5491
Published Online:30 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Diabetes UK
First Published:First published in Diabetic Medicine 2019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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