9.3% of Americans and 6.5% of Canadians suffer from diabetes. There is a lot of agreement about the medical treatment. But does the treatment work? At least 5 crucial studies have found that it doesn’t
People with type 2 diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to die from heart disease. But when the authoritative Cochrane group did a systematic review of 20 studies of type 2 diabetics, they found that there was no significant benefit to intensely targeting blood sugar control with drugs for either cardiovascular death or death from any cause. While it did reduce the risk of amputation, retinopathy and nephropathy, it also increased the risk of hypoglycaemia by 30% (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2011 Jun 15;(6):CD008143).
The same year, a meta-analysis of 13 controlled studies confirmed that there was no significant benefit of drug treatment for cardiovascular death or death from any cause. While at first it looked like drugs may reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attacks, when only the high quality studies were included, that apparent benefit disappeared; however, what now appeared was a 47% increase in the risk of congestive heart failure. So, diabetes drugs did not reduce the risk of death from heart disease, they increased them. They also doubled the risk of severe hypoglycaemia (BMJ 2011 Jul 26;343:d4169).
A third systematic review and meta-analysis included 14 studies of type 2 diabetics. Its negative findings went even further. Not only did diabetes meds confer no benefit for fatal or nonfatal heart attack or stroke nor for death from any cause, this study also found insufficient evidence of reduced risk of retinopathy or nephropathy. This study also found a 30% increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia (BMJ 2011;343:d6898).
And if you’re wondering why 3 studies published in 2011 that showed little or no benefit, but significant risk, of using diabetes drugs didn’t send tremors through the medical community, it wasn’t even news. Three years earlier, the ACCORD study of 10,251 type 2 diabetics who were at high risk of heart attack or stroke found that intensively targeting blood sugar reductions with drugs did not significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events like fatal or nonfatal heart attack or stroke. Shockingly, it did find that diabetes drugs increase the risk of death from any cause by 22% and from cardiovascular disease by 35% (NEJM 2008; 358:2545-2559).
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic compared the research published in the top journals between 2006 and 2015 to the recommendations made in medical guidelines. They included all the meta-analyses and systematic reviews of randomized trials. What they found was surprising and disturbing. Though most published statements (77%-100%) and guidelines (95%) still “unequivocally endorsed” medical glycemic control, the evidence from the actual research found “no significant impact” of the medical approach. Controlling blood sugar by the medical approach did not significantly improve the risk of complications due to diabetes, including dialysis, kidney transplant, renal death, blindness or neuropathy. As far as the cardiovascular risks associated with diabetes, though there was a 15% improvement in risk of nonfatal heart attack, there was no significant benefit for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality or stroke. The researchers concluded that there is a great “discordance” between the actual evidence based on research and the recommendations made supposedly based on that research (Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2016,doi: 10.1161/ CIRCOUTCOMES.116.002901).
Fortunately, there is a better way.
Republished from GreenMedInfo.com


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