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Certain medications slow diabetic retinopathy

The ACCORD Eye Study offers hope to diabetic patients dealing with diabetic retinopathy. The study showed that intensive glycemic control combined with lipid-reduction therapy can hinder the advancement of diabetic retinopathy in older patients who have diagnosed cardiovascular risk factors along with Type II diabetes. However, the ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study showed that intensive blood-pressure control has no effect on the progression of diabetic retinopathy in these same patients. The study evaluated 10,251 adults with Type II Diabetes mellitus who were deemed as high risk for major cardiovascular events. Three intensive medical therapies were evaluated in the study. Controlling blood pressure to near-normal levels, controlling blood sugar to near-normal levels and treating high lipid levels with a combination of fenofibrate and simvastatin were the therapies scrutinized in the study. A subgroup of 2,856 participants were evaluated 4 years later. The results showed that the rate of progression for diabetic retinopathy was 7.3 percent for the intensive glycemic treatment patients, and 6.5 percent for the lipid reduction treatment patients. The blood-pressure control patients, however, had a progression rate of 10.4 percent. Researchers cautioned that a patient's overall health needs to be considered before undertaking any particular treatment and that intensive?glycemic control can increase the risk of hypglycemic events and death.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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