Joslin Diabetes Center experts answer commonly asked questions about diabetes monitoring, treatment, self-care, meal planning, and more.
Topic: Blood Glucose
Question: My physician told me that it's more important to control my blood pressure than my A1C. Can you explain why? (Please note that I do take blood pressure medicine.)
Answer: Very simply, having diabetes puts you at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. The good news is that keeping your blood pressure under 130/80 can lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Not only that, keeping your blood pressure below 130/80 can lower your risk of having diabetes-related eye and kidney diseases. People with diabetes are at particularly high risk for these complications, so one of your goals is certainly to keep your blood pressure down.
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While it's very important to keep your A1C under 7% or within your target range, there's evidence that controlling your blood pressure does even more to lower your risk of complications. Individuals living with diabetes should be sure to follow all their healthcare provider's recommendations regarding diet, exercise, and/or medication for managing their blood pressure.
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