Although patients with diabetes areprone to retina problems, a new study foundthat tighter control of blood pressure slowsdown the progress of this complication andhelps stop vision loss. The study included1148 participants with type 2 diabetes andhigh blood pressure. The participants wererandomly assigned to either a tight or lesstightblood pressure control strategy.
The researchers established a 150/85-mm Hg goal for the tight-control group; forthe other group, the goal was 180/105 mmHg. The participants were followed for 9.3years. The results of the study showed thattight control was connected with a majorreduction in all types of retinal damage,compared with less-tight blood pressurecontrol. Further analysis indicated that tightcontrol slowed retinal disease progression,and the patients were less likely to needphotocoagulation to repair the retinal damage,compared with the less-tight controlgroup. Tight control also decreased the riskof blindness in 1 eye by 25%. (The findingswere reported in the Archives of Ophthalmology,November 2004.)