Adults with diabetes whose glucose levels fluctuate over the course of five years have an increased risk of mortality compared with those whose levels remain stable, a Hadassah Medical Organization study reveals.

The researchers examined data of 293,314 diabetic adults, aged 35 to 89, who was listed at least four times in Israel’s National Diabetes Registry from 2012 to 2016. HbA1c levels, which indicate the percentage of red blood cells that have sugar-coated hemoglobin attached to them, were obtained for each of those years. Mortality data for January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2019, were derived from Israel’s national population registry.

Participants were divided into three age groups: 35 to 54 years, 55 to 69 years, and 70 to 89 years. In all age categories, adults with diabetes whose HbA1c levels were greater than 7.0 that either increased or decreased had a higher likelihood of mortality than those whose HbA1c levels remained stable.

These data highlight the importance of maintaining glycemic stability throughout the years and encourage physicians to consider the longstanding glycemic burden of their patients when evaluating their prognosis,” says study author Dr Avivit Cahn, Hadassah endocrinologist and attending physician in Hadassah’s Diabetes Unit.

Read more about the study.