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Researchers Find Link Between Blood Sugar and Wound Care

Confirmation of key supposition in diabetes care

BOSTON - Researchers in the Division of Podiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Doctor's Research Network of South Miami have found a direct correlation between a diabetic patient's ability to heal a wound and their blood sugar control.

The abstract, "Hemoglobin A1C as an Independent Predictor of Wound Healing: A Preliminary Case Report" was presented at the recent scientific conference of the American Podiatric Medical Association in Toronto, Canada. The study prospectively followed 458 diabetic patients with open foot ulcerations and tracked their hemoglobin A1C, a long term measure of blood sugar control.

Based on this long term study, the researchers proved for the first time that Hemoglobin A1C does in fact have a direct bearing on wound healing.

"For the longest time, we intuitively believed and told our patients that controlling their blood sugars was important in the overall management of their foot ulcer," says Adam Landsman, MD, one of the lead authors. "Now, for the first time, we have definitive and objective data that supports our long held beliefs."

The authors, Landsman, Jeremy Cook MD, and Emily Cook, MD, of BIDMC; Jason Hanft, MD, Bozena Pawelek, MD, and Maribel Henao, MD, of South Miami, Robert Snyder, MD, of University Hospital in Tamarac, FL anticipate this study will generate renewed emphasis on the importance of glucose control in patients with diabetic foot ulcerations.

The abstract won second place in the abstract competition of the 2009 APMA Annual Scientific Meeting in Toronto and the results will be submitted to Diabetes Care.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org .