Several years after participating in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, the patients assigned to intensive diabetes therapy still showed improvements in neuropathy symptoms. For the study, 1257 patients were randomly assigned to receive intensive or conventional diabetes therapy. The intensive group received at least 3 insulin injections per day, while the conventional group received no more than 2 injections.
After 6.5 years of follow-up, all the participants were encouraged to use the intensive therapy. The patients were examined yearly for neuropathy and other complications. The findings indicated that the group originally assigned to receive intensive therapy had a lower likelihood of neuropathy, compared with the group that started with conventional therapy (17.8% vs 28%). The patients who received the intensive therapy were 64% and 45% less apt, respectively, to have symptoms and signs of neuropathy, compared with patients who received conventional therapy. This advantage lasted for at least 8 years after the end of the treatment, as reported by researchers in Diabetes Care (February 2006).