Over 60% of people with type 2 diabetes
have glucose levels above the recommended target, putting them at an increased
risk for serious complications such as blindness and heart disease, figures
According to Professor Tim O'Brien, a
consultant endocrinologist at University College Hospital Galway, with
most people failing to maintain healthy glucose levels, 'the stakes are
"Because of the progressive nature
of type 2 diabetes, the longer patients remain uncontrolled, the more extensive
the diabetes-related damage, such as blindness and kidney failure and the
harder it is to keep glucose levels in check", Professor O'Brien said.
He made his comments at the launch of
'10 Practical Steps to Better Glucose Control'. These are the first global
recommendations designed to help doctors overcome common barriers to achieving
recommended treatment goals among their patients with diabetes.
One of the steps centres on glucose levels
and emphasises the importance of healthy A1c levels. An A1c test provides
a measure of long-term glucose control over two to three months. It is
seen as the 'gold standard' for assessing long-term blood glucose control.
Research has shown that complications
in people with type 1 and type diabetes are closely linked to the level
of A1c that is achieved and maintained. According to these global recommendations,
patients should aim for an A1c level of below 6.5.
The 10 steps were launched by the Global
Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management, a multidisciplinary taskforce
made up of internally respected diabetes experts.