A new study has found an ideal blood sugar target for people with diabetes, which can prevent stroke, heart attack, or other vascular issues, according to Medicine Net.
The study, published online Wednesday in the journal Neurology, used the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test to determine average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months.
Study author Dr. Moon-Ku Han of Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea, said, “We know that having diabetes may be associated with an increased risk of having a first stroke. But our results indicate that there is an optimal blood sugar level that may start to minimize the risk of having another stroke, a heart attack, or other vascular problems, and it’s right in the 6.8% to 7% range.”
The study researchers looked at more than 18,500 people with diabetes who were hospitalized for an ischemic stroke, one that was caused by a blood clot. Participants had an average HbA1c of 7.5%.
HbA1c above 6.5% shows diabetes, while anything below 5.7% is considered normal.
After a year, the researchers found that 8% (1,437) of participants had experienced a heart attack or died from vascular disease, while 5% (954) had another stroke.
The researchers found that the risk for a heart attack or similar vascular issues was 27% greater when they were hospitalized with HbA1c levels above 7% than those with HbA1c levels below 6.5%.
They also found that the participants’ risk for stroke was 28% greater with HbA1c levels above 7%.
Dr. Han said, “Our findings highlight the importance of keeping a close eye on your blood sugar if you’re diabetic and have had a stroke.”
However, there was one limitation of the study. The researchers said blood sugar levels were only tested at the outset. The article appeared on Medicine Net.