Danish researchers reviewed 20 randomised controlled trials involving 30,000 participants comparing intensive and conventional blood glucose control.
They found no difference in cardiovascular mortality risk or all-cause mortality risk with the two regimes.
The intensive approach reduced the risk of damage to the eyes and kidneys with the intensive approach, by 11% and 22%, respectively, compared with conventional control.
But the risk of severe hypoglycaemia were increased by 30% by targeting intensive glycaemic control compared with conventional strategies.
Study leader Bianca Hemmingsen, a researcher at the Copenhagen Trial Unit, concluded: ‘Targeting the intensive levels means that many patients have to cope with complex and time consuming treatment. On top of this, they have the fear that their blood glucose might drop too low.’
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD008143.