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Bid to calm GPs' fears over electronic patient record

Lowering levels of HbA1c in non-diabetic patients could become an important way of preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease, according to a new large-scale study.

Blood glucose levels continued to be related to cardiovascular risk well below the threshold for diabetes, the research found.

Only 4 per cent of cardiovascular deaths occurred in patients diagnosed with diabetes, while 72 per cent of deaths were in patients with HbA1c levels between 5 and 6.9 per cent.

The authors, from the University of Cambridge, concluded 'most of the events in the sample occurred in people with moderately elevated HbA1c' and said there should be trials of interventions to reduce blood glucose in non-diabetics.

HbA1c was related to cardiovascular risk continuously throughout the sample distribution, with an increase of 1 per cent associated with a 20 to 30 per cent rise in mortality, according to the study.

Dr George Kassianios, a GP in Bracknell, Berkshire, said: 'We're learning from these large trials that the lower the better with HbA1c. We will have to review our definition of fasting glycaemia ­ we might have to think about lowering it.'

The study analysed data from 10,000 UK subjects aged from 45 to 79 and was published in the latest issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

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