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J Intern Med. 2012 Jul;272(1):1-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2012.02528.x. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Glucose control in diabetes: which target level to aim for?

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Department of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.


The most important goal in the treatment of patients with diabetes is to lower the risk of long-term diabetes complications. Hyperglycaemia is the most important risk factor for microvascular complications in diabetes, but, in addition to hyperglycaemia, several other risk factors, particularly dyslipidaemia, elevated blood pressure and smoking, also determine the risk of macrovascular complications. In this review, we present evidence from longitudinal population-based studies that hyperglycaemia is an important risk factor for long-term complications of diabetes and discuss the results from clinical trials of the effects of the treatment of hyperglycaemia on the prevention of long-term micro- and macrovascular complications in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. An HbA(1c) target of <7.0% for the treatment of diabetes is generally accepted on the basis of evidence from several trials, whereas a target of <6.5% may be reasonable for patients with a short duration of type 2 diabetes and without extensive atherosclerosis.

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