NEW ORLEANS — Most diabetes patients don’t have levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) under control, either individually or in combination, according to a new study seeking to determine the value of dual control as opposed to control of one of the measures.

The study, published recently in the journal Diabetes Therapy, said its goal was to assess the clinical benefits and patient characteristics associated with dual-goal achievement [HbA1c of less than 7% (53 mmol/mol) and LDL-C of less than 100 mg/dL] vs. only LDL-C goal achievement in adults with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes.1

To do that, Tulane University-led researchers looked at 16,829 newly diagnosed patients with two or more measures of LDL-C and HbA1c at the South Central VA Health Care Network from January 2004 to June 2010. For the study, the index date was the first HbA1c assessment within three months of the first type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Results indicated that, compared with LDL-C goal achievement, dual-goal achievement was associated with lower risk of microvascular complications, with a hazard ratio of 0.69, although other outcomes did not differ between those two groups.

With 44.2% of the patients achieving both goals, characteristics associated with that success were prior dual-goal achievement, older age, and use of lipid-lowering drugs.

“Dual-goal achievement in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes is associated with a lower risk of microvascular complications versus only LDL-C goal achievement,” study authors wrote. “Although dual-goal achievement rates are suboptimal, early and regular intervention will increase its likelihood.”

1.    Shi L, Ye X, Lu M, Wu EQ, Sharma H, Thomason D, Zhang M, Wang Y, Fonseca VA. Glycemic and Cholesterol Control Versus Single-Goal Control in US Veterans with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes: A Retrospective Observational Study. Diabetes Ther. 2015 Sep;6(3):339-55. doi: 10.1007/s13300-015-0122-2. Epub 2015 Jul 23. PubMed PMID: 26202185; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4575310.