Health Day reporter
THURSDAY, September 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) – For people with diabetes who have had a stroke, there may be an ideal blood sugar target to prevent another or a heart attack, according to a South Korean study.
To determine the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months, the study team used the hemoglobin A1C test.
“We know that diabetes may be associated with an increased risk of having a first stroke,” said study author Dr. Moon-Ku Han, of Seoul National University College of Medicine. “But our results indicate that there is an optimal blood sugar level that can begin to minimize the risk of having another stroke, heart attack or other vascular problems, and it is between 6.8% and 7%. “
The study involved more than 18,500 people with diabetes (average age: 70) who were admitted to hospital with ischemic stroke, caused by a blood clot.
Participants had an average A1C of 7.5%. Anything above 6.5% typically shows diabetes, while levels below 5.7% are considered normal.
A year later, the researchers found that 1,437 participants, about 8%, had suffered a heart attack or died of vascular disease. About 5% (954) had another stroke.
The study found that participants’ risk of a heart attack or similar vascular disease was 27% higher when admitted to hospital with A1C levels above 7%, compared to those admitted with A1C levels below 6.5%. Their risk of stroke was 28% higher when admitted with A1C levels above 7%, compared to those below 6.5%.
The results were published online September 29 in the journal Neurology.
“Our results underscore the importance of closely monitoring your blood sugar if you have diabetes and have had a stroke,” Han said in a press release.
The researchers noted that one of the limitations of the study is that blood sugar levels were only tested at the beginning.
The American Diabetes Association has more information on living with diabetes.
SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, press release, September 29, 2021