Nabel also urged those with diabetes " to consult with their health-care professional before making any changes to their treatment."
And the American Diabetes Association echoed his words.
"The American Diabetes Association looks forward to more analysis of the data from ACCORD, as well as other ongoing studies that may shed more light on this issue," the group said in a prepared statement. "However, at this time, the American Diabetes Association advises people with diabetes who have existing cardiovascular disease (CVD), or multiple CVD risk factors, to consult with their health care team about their treatment goals and to ensure that their blood pressure and cholesterol are appropriately managed."
Wednesday's announcement stunned at least one doctor who specializes in diabetes treatment.
"This is a mindblower," said Dr. Mary Ann Banerji, a diabetes expert at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City. "We absolutely did not expect this."
"If we do have an increase in mortality, then we absolutely have to stop it," said Banerji, who has nearly 100 patients in the trial. "Of course, nobody knows why it happened. And everybody would like to know why it happened.
"It may be that these patients were a very high risk group to start with, because every other study suggested that intensive glucose [blood sugar] control was actually better for you," Banerji added. "This study flies in the face of that."
Type 2 diabetes is t
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