Aggressive treatment to control blood sugar in patients with diabetes could prove nearly as hazardous as allowing glucose levels to remain high, a study initiated by Cardiff researchers reveals.
In addition, the scientists also cited that people suffering from type 2 diabetes who used insulin to get blood sugar levels down to near normal were at a 50 percent heightened risk of death during the study period compared to those who used a combination of oral drugs, such as metformin and sulphonylurea.
The recent figures reflect significant variations in death rates between patients on insulin and those taking tablets.
The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, suggests maintaining diabetics on oral drugs that makes the body more sensitivity to insulin, combined with diet and exercise, is likely to be the safest way of maintaining blood sugar in type 2 diabetics.
Under the study, the team identified 27,965 patients with type 2 diabetes, and their treatment had been intensified to include two oral blood glucose lowering agents - metformin and sulphonylurea.
An additional 20,005 patients who had been made to stick on the treatment which included insulin were added to the study.
The output reveals that patients, whose HbA1c levels - the proportion of red blood cells with glucose attached to them - were around 7.5%, had the least risk of dying.
However, this risk went up by more than half if levels dropped to 6.4% for both the groups, the lowest levels recorded. For those with the highest levels the risk of death increased by nearly 80%.