Intensive glycemic control and cardiovascular disease: Are there patients who may benefit?

Nalurporn Chokrungvaranon, James Deer, Peter D. Reaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recent major publications, such as the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes trial, the Advance in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron MR Controlled Evaluation trial, and the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial, found that intensive glucose control in patients with T2DM did not reduce CVD outcomes. However, in this article, we review observational studies and clinical trials that, on aggregate, indicate how glucose lowering appears to reduce risks of CVD in certain subgroups, but can be harmful in other individuals. Based on available evidence, we suggest that younger patients with a shorter duration of T2DM, without CVD, and with few comorbid conditions may experience the greatest cardiovascular benefit from intensive glucose control. In contrast, more aggressive glucose lowering in older patients with a longer duration of T2DM, a history of CVD, and/or multiple comorbidities does not translate to reduced cardiovascular events, and may cause harm. The target goal and therapeutic strategy for intensive glucose control should be established for each individual after a careful review of his or her medical and psychosocial history, and should not reflect a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Postgraduate Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalPostgraduate Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular disease outcomes
  • Glucose control
  • Intensive glucose control/therapy
  • Macrovascular complications
  • Microvascular complications
  • Tight glucose control
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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