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Week of November 1, 2009 < Back ¦ 2009 ¦ Home

Hot Paper in Medicine

"Effects of intensive glucose lowering in type 2 diabetes," by the ACCORD Study Group (H.C. Gerstein, et al.), New England Journal of Medicine, 358(24): 2545-59, 12 June 2008.

[Authors' affiliations: For the Writing Group, 10 U.S. and Canadian institutions]

Abstract: "Background: Epidemiologic studies have shown a relationship between glycated hemoglobin levels and cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes. We investigated whether intensive therapy to target normal glycated hemoglobin levels would reduce cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes who had either established cardiovascular disease or additional cardiovascular risk factors. Methods: In this randomized study, 10,251 patients (mean age, 62.2 years) with a median glycated hemoglobin level of 8.1% were assigned to receive intensive therapy (targeting a glycated hemoglobin level below 6.0%) or standard therapy (targeting a level from 7.0 to 7.9%). Of these patients, 38% were women, and 35% had had a previous cardiovascular event. The primary outcome was a composite of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes. The finding of higher mortality in the intensive-therapy group led to a discontinuation of intensive therapy after a mean of 3.5 years of follow-up. Results: At 1 year, stable median glycated hemoglobin levels of 6.4% and 7.5% were achieved in the intensive-therapy group and the standard-therapy group, respectively. During follow-up, the primary outcome occurred in 352 patients in the intensive-therapy group, as compared with 371 in the standard-therapy group (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78 to 1.04; P=0.16). At the same time, 257 patients in the intensive-therapy group died, as compared with 203 patients in the standard-therapy group (hazard ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.46; P=0.04). Hypoglycemia requiring assistance and weight gain of more than 10 kg were more frequent in the intensive-therapy group (P<0.001). Conclusions: As compared with standard therapy, the use of intensive therapy to target normal glycated hemoglobin levels for 3.5 years increased mortality and did not significantly reduce major cardiovascular events. These findings identify a previously unrecognized harm of intensive glucose lowering in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes."

This 2008 report from the New England Journal of Medicine was cited 77 times in current journal articles indexed by Thomson Reuters during July-August 2009. Only one other medicine paper published in the last two years, aside from reviews, garnered a higher citation total during that two-month period. Prior to the most recent bimonthly count, citations to the paper have accrued as follows:

May-June 2009: 87 citations
March-April 2009:
January-February 2009: 62
November-December 2008: 49
September-October 2008:
July-August 2008: 11

Total citations to date: 372

SOURCE: Hot Papers Database (Included with a subscription to the print newsletter Science Watch®, available from the Research Services Group of Thomson Reuters. Packaged on a CD that is mailed with each Science Watch issue, the Hot Papers Database contains data on hundreds of highly cited papers published during the last two years. User interface permits searching by author, organization, journal, field, and more. Total citations, as well as citations accrued during successive bimonthly periods, can be assessed and graphed. An updated CD containing the most recent bimonthly data is mailed with every new issue of Science Watch, six times a year. The CD also includes an electronic version of the Science Watch issue in HTML format, for personal desktop access.

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