Laura Dolson, at About.com, recently posted about the ACCORD Trial mess in a Tale of Two Diabetes Studies. To get you started:
Many people who follow low-carb diets do it to achieve greater blood glucose control. Therefore, it was disconcerting when ten days ago the news was full of a large study of diabetics ("ACCORD") which was halted when it was found that patients in the more aggressive treatment group, who had lower blood glucose as a result, had more deaths than the patients with higher levels of blood glucose.
Note that none of the researchers said that the lower blood sugar itself caused the result -- it could have been the more agressive drug therapy that these patients were on, or some other factor. Nor are they clear on what caused the extra deaths at this point. And no one was recommending that treatment programs or goals be changed based on this preliminary data. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommended not changing anything. However, this did not stop the media from producing headlines such as, "Diabetes Study Shows Lowering Blood Sugar Increases Death Risk" and "Diabetes Study Upends Another Long-held Belief". In my opinion, these kinds of headlines are blatantly irresponsible, and I also wonder what is to be gained by blasting this story everywhere before we have a decent analysis of what was going on in the study.
The findings in the ACCCORD study prompted researchers in Austalia to peek into a similar study in progress there called ADVANCE. Were the results the same? No, not at all! Their data did not show increased deaths in the lower blood glucose group, despite the fact that twice as much data has been collected so far in the ADVANCE study. So the interim advice is to wait until the results of both studies, plus one additional similar one, are available.
What are we to think?
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