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Critical Care: Sugar Limit Saves Lives

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10:56am, June 27, 2001

People recovering from surgery in intensive care units face several possible complications, ranging from infection to organ failure. The fact that most patients' blood-sugar concentration rises after major surgery has been considered among the least of their problems–until now.

Researchers at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium decided to test the effects of strictly controlling blood sugar in more than 1,500 people in the surgical intensive care unit (ICU). Most were nondiabetic. The overall death rate among the patients with strictly controlled blood sugar was a third less than that of patients given conventional treatment.

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