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Hemoglobin A1c and the risk of death from heart failure.

An elevated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level increases the risk of hospitalization, cardiovascular death, and overall mortality among chronic heart failure patients, according to a recent report.* Physicians use the HbA1c blood test to assess blood sugar control over the previous several months in diabetic patients. As HbA1c levels rise, so do cardiovascular events, even among patients without diabetes.


Canadian scientists wondered if HbA1c might be useful for predicting death from cardiovascular events among patients with symptomatic chronic heart failure.

Drawing data from participants in a large ongoing study of heart failure patients, they assessed the relationship between elevated HbA1c and risk of hospitalization and death.

Analyzing research from more than 2,400 patients, the scientists conclude, "in diabetic and nondiabetic patients with symptomatic chronic [heart failure], the HbA1c level is an independent progressive risk factor for cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure, and total mortality."

Strategies for modulating HbA1c levels include rigorously controlling blood glucose levels, avoiding processed foods and foods cooked at high temperatures, and consuming nutrients that block damaging glycation reactions, such as carnosine, benfotiamine, and pyridoxamine.


* Gerstein HC, Swedberg K, Carlsson J, et al. The hemoglobin A1c level as a progressive risk factor for cardiovascular death, hospitalization for heart failure, or death in patients with chronic heart failure: an analysis of the Candesartan in Heart failure: Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity (CHARM) program. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1699-704.

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Kiefer, Dale
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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