“We know that diabetes can be associated with an increased risk of getting a first stroke,” says study author Dr. Moon-Ku Han, of Seoul National University College of Medicine. “But our results suggest that there is an optimal blood sugar level that can reduce the risk of another stroke, heart attack or other vascular problems, and it is between 6.8% and 7%.”
The study included more than 18,500 people with diabetes (average age: 70) who were admitted to hospital for an ischemic stroke – one caused by a blood clot.
Participants have an average A1C of 7.5%. Anything above 6.5% typically shows diabetes, while levels below 5.7% are considered normal.
A year later, researchers found that 1,437 participants, about 8%, had a heart attack or died from vascular disease. About 5% (954) had another stroke.
The study found participants’ risk of heart attack or similar vascular disease was 27% higher when admitted to hospital with A1C levels above 7%, compared to those admitted with A1C levels below 6.5 %. Their risk of stroke was 28% greater when allowed with A1C levels above 7%, compared to those below 6.5%.
The findings were published online in the journal on September 29. Neurology.
“Our findings highlight the importance of keeping a close eye on your blood sugar if you have diabetes and have had a stroke,” Han said in a news release.
Researchers noted that a limitation of the study is that blood sugar levels were only tested at the beginning.
The American Diabetes Association has more on live with diabetes.
SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, September 29, 2021