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Individuals with type 1 diabetes are known to be at an increased risk of many complications, including kidney disease and early death. However, the specific causes of these poor outcomes have eluded researchers. Now, a new investigation shows that HbA1c testing may help predict the risk of these complications.
For the study, researchers the University of Helsinki examined a group of 592 individuals with type 1 diabetes. They gave the participants a number of tests, including HbA1c testing and cholesterol testing. They then followed the participants’ medical records for 10 years
The researchers found a strong association between HbA1c levels and the development of end-stage kidney disease. Additionally, high cholesterol appeared to increase the risk of this complication. Cholesterol was also tied to an increased risk of early death.
The findings could provide doctors with important clues for identifying which of their patients are at the greatest risk of developing diabetes-related complications, the researchers said. This could help medical professionals to recommend lifestyle changes for these individuals when necessary.
"This kind of novel statistical approach has the potential to shed new light on the targets and strategies for preventing premature mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Carol Forsblom, who led the study.
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