How should blood glucose levels be managed in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Ideally, blood glucose should be maintained at near-normal levels (preprandial levels of 90-130 mg/dL and hemoglobin A1C [HbA1c] levels < 7%). However, focus on glucose alone does not provide adequate treatment for patients with diabetes mellitus. Treatment involves multiple goals (ie, glycemia, lipids, blood pressure).

Aggressive glucose lowering may not be the best strategy in all patients. Individual risk stratification is highly recommended. In patients with advanced type 2 diabetes who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, lowering HbA1c to 6% or lower may increase the risk of cardiovascular events. [163]

A study from the ACCORD Study Group found that setting the treatment target for HbA1c below 6% in high-risk patients resulted in reduced 5-year nonfatal myocardial infarctions. However, patients who did not achieve the treatment target experienced increased 5-year mortality. [164]

Review of blood glucose logs must be part of any diabetes management plan. Both iron and erythropoietin treatments commonly prescribed in patients with chronic kidney disease cause a significant decrease in HbA1c without affecting blood glucose levels. [165]

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