ANCHOR LEAD: THERE’S A GOOD LESSON FOR US ALL IN A RECENTLY HALTED NIH TRIAL, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
We know that keeping blood sugar under control helps avoid complications of diabetes, so keeping it under very tight control should be even better, right? Not so, a recently halted NIH trial addressing this question seemed to conclude, and the trial was halted. Christopher Saudek, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says this story provides another important lesson.
SAUDEK: This study was a surprise to everybody. One lesson you should take out of it is that if a study finds that one side of the randomized group is doing worse the study is stopped because its not ethical to continue to treat people in a way that’s shown to be not as good as the other way. A lot of people go into studies thinking oh, they want to take the active medicine they don’t want a placebo and they don’t realize how often this sort of outcome happens which is the hypothesis that even tighter blood sugar control would be even better turns out to be wrong. :34
I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.