• Diabetes increases your chances of having your first stroke.
• An ideal blood sugar level can help reduce the risk of a second stroke or heart attack.
• When people with A1C levels higher than 7% were admitted to the hospital, their chances of having another stroke increased by 28%.
According to new research, perfect blood sugar levels may exist for diabetics who suffer a stroke in order to reduce the risk of later vascular disorders such as a stroke or heart attack.
The study’s findings were published in the medical journal “Neurology.”
“We know that having diabetes may be associated with an increased risk of having a first stroke,” said study author Moon-Ku Han, MD, PhD, of Seoul National University College of Medicine in Korea.
“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 per cent to 7.0 per cent range,” Han added.
There were 18,567 diabetics in the research, with an average age of 70. A blood clot produced an ischemic stroke in all of the subjects; therefore they were all brought to the hospital. Researchers utilized a test called hemoglobin A1C to evaluate people’s average blood sugar level over the previous two to three months after they were admitted.
This test determines the percentage of sugar-coated hemoglobin proteins in the blood. A level of less than 5.7 percent is considered normal, while a level of 6.5 percent or greater implies diabetes. The average A1C of the subjects was 7.5 percent.
The researchers then followed up a year later to see if A1C levels were linked to the risk of having another stroke, a heart attack, or dying from these or other vascular causes.
Within a year of commencing the trial, 1,437 people, or about 8%, had a heart attack or died from vascular illness, and 954, or 5%, had another stroke.
People brought to the hospital with A1C levels above 6.8% to 7.0 percent had a higher risk of having a vascular event, such as a heart attack, as well as having another stroke, according to the study.
After controlling for characteristics such as age and gender, researchers discovered that those brought to the hospital with A1C levels above 7.0 percent had a 27 percent higher risk of a heart attack or other vascular disease than those hospitalized with A1C values below 6.5 percent.
When people with A1C levels above 7.0 percent were admitted to the hospital, their chance of having another stroke was 28 percent higher than when they had A1C levels below 6.5 percent.
“Our findings highlight the importance of keeping a close eye on your blood sugar if you’re diabetic and have had a stroke,” Han said.
The study’s main weakness is that participants’ blood sugar levels were only assessed once at the start of the study.