The targeting blood-sugar levels according to treatment guidelines (HbA1c 52 mmol/mol or lower) from the time of diagnosis is associated with an approximately 20 percent lower risk of death 10-15 years later.
The study also shows that the delaying the introduction of good blood-sugar levels until 10 years after diagnosis is associated with only a 3% lower risk of death.
“These latest results are evidence that proper early blood-sugar treatment in type 2 diabetes is crucial to optimise diabetes care. They also mean that there is a need for a greater focus on detecting type 2 diabetes at the earliest opportunity to prevent people living with undetected high blood-sugar levels for several years,” says Professor Marcus Lind.
These new results provide a mechanistic explanation for the glycaemic ‘legacy effect’, first identified by the UKPDS and instituting good blood-sugar control in newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes can reduce the risks of diabetic complications and death for up to 30 years.
The discovery of the ‘legacy effect’ has led to diabetes treatment guidelines worldwide recommending the need to achieve good blood-glucose control as soon as possible.