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Poor glucose control in over 60% of type 2 diabetes patients increases risk of complications

June 04, 2004

London, UK (Friday 4 June 2004) - Control to Goal, a new integrated diabetes education and support initiative for healthcare professionals, has been launched today by the Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management - a taskforce of internationally respected diabetes experts from leading institutions and diabetes organisations. The initiative aims to address the alarming fact that over 60 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have glucose (blood sugar) levels above recommended targets,1 putting them at increased risk for serious complications such as cardiovascular disease - the leading cause of diabetes-related death.2

"We have a serious problem in diabetes care. We know that high glucose levels, even for short periods, can lead to serious complications. Diabetes organisations worldwide recommend a glucose target of less than 7 percent or even 6.5 percent HbA1C - yet the majority of patients continue to have glucose levels that far exceed these recommended goals," said Professor Stefano Del Prato, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy, and Chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management.

"The Control to Goal initiative will address the gaps between treatment guidelines and clinical practice. Importantly, this unique initiative will support healthcare professionals in getting more of their patients to recommended treatment goals thereby improving clinical outcomes."

Despite the fact that poor glucose control among people with type 2 diabetes is associated with serious consequences such as heart disease, stroke, kidney problems and blindness,3 over 60 percent of diabetes patients were not at recommended treatment goals (HbA1C levels of less than 7 percent) according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999 to 2000).1 In another study, intervention with intensive diabetes therapy reduced the risk of diabetic complications by 50 percent compared with conventional treatment in 160 type 2 diabetes subjects.4 However in this study, while 71 percent of subjects achieved treatment targets for total cholesterol and 51 percent reached targets for systolic blood pressure, only 16 percent achieved recommended glucose treatment goals of less than 6.5 percent HbA1C. This study highlights the gap between guidelines and clinical practice, as well as the need for better management strategies to get more patients to glucose goals.

"In order to offer patients the best chance of avoiding the devastating complications of this disease, new studies suggest that a more aggressive treatment approach is needed, including early use of combination therapy with complementary actions," said Dr. Neil Munro, Partnership member and Chairman, Primary Care Diabetes Europe.

"We need a fundamental change in the way we treat type 2 diabetes to increase the proportion of diabetes patients getting to, and maintaining, recommended glucose levels - our aim with Control to Goal is to identify the barriers to getting patients to goal and to provide practical guidance in making the transition to best treatment practices."

The Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management announced today several components of the Control to Goal initiative as follows:

  • A Consensus Publication - The Partnership is developing a consensus on effective diabetes management. The publication will highlight the importance of good glucose control in slowing disease progression and reducing the incidence of diabetes complications; provide practical guidance to get more patients to recommended treatment goals; and emphasise the pivotal role of the diabetes management team, including the patient.

  • Nurse Education Kit - Recognising the key role that nurses play in diabetes management, the Partnership is enlisting their support in this important call to action and will be providing them with educational materials for local implementation.

  • Journalist Writing Competition - The Partnership is also calling upon the world's media to heighten global awareness of the need for effective glucose control and will be launching a Journalist Writing Competition on this topic to coincide with World Diabetes Day, 14 November 2004. More information on the Journalist Writing Competition, including themes and prizes, will be made available at the launch on World Diabetes Day 2004. The winners will be announced in 2005.
    For further information on the Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management and the Control to Goal initiative and/or an interview with a Partnership member, please contact Rebecca Moan at 212.329.6270 ( or Sarah Hicks at 212.329.6272 (

    Notes to the Editor:
    The Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management and the Control to Goal initiative are sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.

    For information regarding the Mission and the members of the Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management please refer to the Facts about the Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management.

    If you would like to enter the Journalist Writing Competition, please contact Rebecca Moan at 212.329.6270 ( or Sarah Hicks at 212.329.6272 (
    1. Saydah S et al. Poor control of risk factors for vascular disease among adults with previously diagnosed diabetes. JAMA 2004;291:335-342.
    2. UK Prospective Diabetes Study Group. Association of glycaemia with macrovascular and microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 35): prospective observational study. BMJ 2000; 321:405-412.
    3. American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Resources. Retrieved on April 28 2004.
    4. Gæde P et al. Multifactorial intervention and cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. NEJM 2003;348:383-393.

    Shire Health International

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