People who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should try to get their blood sugar levels under control within the first year of diagnosis to guard against heart problems, a study has suggested.

A team from the University of Surrey found that variations in blood sugar levels in the 12 months after diagnosis meant more risk of developing major cardiovascular problems.

Dr Martin Whyte, co-author of the study and Reader in Metabolic Medicine at the University of Surrey, said: “The conventional wisdom has been to slowly and steadily treat type 2 diabetes with diet and medicine dose-escalation over years – the period over which it took people to reduce their sugar levels after diagnosis was thought less important for major vascular protection.

“However, our observational study suggests that getting blood levels under control quickly – within the first 12 months after diagnosis – will significantly help reduce cardiovascular events.”

The team used data from the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Research and Surveillance Centre to examine glycaemic control within 12 months of diagnosis and incidents of cardiovascular disease.

The study has been published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

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