A large-scale study involving patients without diabetes has found that an early and aggressive approach to treating diabetes did not offer a great deal of benefit in slowing the onset of the condition .
The study, which was published in The Lancet, involved monitoring over 3,000 patients, some of which received regular healthcare, while the other group received screening and then intensive treatment of multiple risk factors. It was found that, after five years, cardiovascular risk factors were slightly improved in the group receiving intensive treatment, but that the first cardiovascular event was not greatly different between the two groups .
It was suggested that the findings could be because of overall improvements in risk factors during the trial, which meant there were less cardiovascular events than was expected. The report said “the extent to which the complications of diabetes can be reduced by earlier detection and treatment remains uncertain.”
In addition, the authors stated that “the emergence of evidence-based standards of routine diabetes care, especially for lipid-lowering and antihypertensive therapies, negated potential benefits of intensive therapy .”
The research follows recent work in the same study, ADDITION-Europen, that found patients with type 2 diabetes that were diagnosed through screening in general practice, intensive multifactoral treatment can lead to small but statistically significant improvements in risk factors compared with usual care.

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