New York, NY, February 14, 2001 – People with diabetes mellitus have twice the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious blood vessel problems. Research suggests that controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol may importantly reduce the risk in people with Type 2 diabetes. In mid-January 2001, researchers at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and allied institutions launched an eight-year randomized trial to compare medical treatment strategies to control blood sugar and blood pressure or blood cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes and high risk of cardiovascular events.
The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ACCORD is organized as seven networks each with a coordinating hub and several recruiting sites. The hub for the northeastern network is on the Columbia University Health Sciences campus; its 10 clinical centers are located in the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey. Four of the 10 clinical centers are Columbia University affiliates.
Altogether, more than 60 clinics across the United States and Canada will recruit 10,000 participants, age 55 years or older for Caucasians and African-Americans and age 50 years or older for Hispanic and Asian participants. Half of the participants are expected to be men and half women.
“The strategies used in this study may help decrease the damage to blood vessels, heart, brain, eye, and kidney caused by diabetes,” says Dr. Thomas Bigger, professor of medicine and of pharmacology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and principal investigator for the northeastern network. “The long-term benefits for study participants and people with Type 2 diabetes could be substantial.”
After an initial telephone interview, volunteers will be asked to come in for a screening visit. Those who qualify will be invited back for a second screening, where blood, urine, and ECG tests will be taken. Volunteers will be asked to keep a diary of blood sugar levels for two weeks after the second screening.
Participants in the trial will be randomly assigned to one of two blood sugar goals (intensive goal vs. less intensive goal). Also, depending on the initial blood pressure and blood cholesterol results, participants will be assigned to either the blood pressure or blood cholesterol parts of the trial. Study medications will be made up of currently available and approved treatments and will be provided at no cost to the participant. In addition, participants will receive regular medical exams, counseling for healthy lifestyle changes, and education on blood sugar control, blood cholesterol control, and blood pressure control.
The components of the northeastern network are Columbia University Health Sciences, Jacobi Hospital, Worksite Hypertension Control, Cornell Internal Medicine Associates, Diabetes Care and Information Center, Cooper Health System, Cooper Physician Associates, Associates in Internal Medicine at Columbia University, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, Ambulatory Care Network at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Irving Pavilion Diabetes Unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
For more information or to discuss participation in the study, contact Dr. Bigger’s office, 212-305-5058.
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