What is up with the ADA?

John Crowley
By John Crowley Latest Reply 2010-05-22 00:34:42 -0500
Started 2008-03-18 09:53:16 -0500

I ran across this story on the ADA website. It is about a study that showed type 2's that underwent intensive therapy to reach an A1C below 6% were more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke.

Here's a quote from the article: " Researchers saw patients in the intensive-management group frequently. After four years, the people in that group reduced sugar values to about 6.4%. People assigned to the usual-care group didn't get checked as much, but they still got sugars down to an average of 7.5%

Then the 10-member panel discovered the fatal flaw in the study: They found that 257 people in the intensive-care group had died, compared with 203 people getting the standard treatment. "

Basically, they say they have no idea why. And my question is, if you have no idea why, why are you publishing a study that could lead thousands or millions of people to overreact and stop trying to treat their diabetes. It seems crazy to me.

What do you think?

26 replies

Emma2412 2010-05-22 00:34:42 -0500 Report

Hi, John
I don't trust the ADA any longer. I used to belong to the ADA but stopped my membership after I found out that a lot of the money that is donated to them is used to publish that monthly magazine of theirs, which I always thought was very depressing. I don't know about anybody else, but I've got to see hope on the horizon for a cure for diabetes. Plus, I don't want to surrender my life to medicine and if I can find a natural cure, I will. I think the ADA is too involved with the drug companies and I don't think they are patient-oriented at all. Plus, what bothers me is that they're not looking for a cure for diabetes (which is what I erroneously thought they were doing when I first joined the organization).

Charish 2008-10-11 04:05:59 -0500 Report

Knowledge is power and the lack of it can cause the innocent to suffer greatly. I feel that these organizations really only care about the funding and not always the patients. Research is mostly geared to funds and not always helpful information. The sad part of that anology is that people who are despirate for answers are relying on the information given and unaware that the information was in some cases put forth for the funding of the organization and not researched as it is made out to be. This is why we need to make ourselves even more knowledgable of the things that we read and the treatments given to us. Don't get me wrong the ADA and orgainizations like them may at times give out information that can ebe helpful but we still need to be made more aware of all that is given and all that is read in our search for information and answers to the cure and treatment of diabetes and any other medical condition being treated.

NamVet - 21894
NamVet - 21894 2008-10-11 04:40:21 -0500 Report

Your right. Money is their main purpose then the people next!!
If they would just do like this group money would pour in when they ask! But they have a mailing or beg a day I call it..
Not giving the people what we really want and need! Answers, knowledge, tools.
P.S. Because you have Washington People with to much education, not enough common sense.

Toma 2008-10-11 05:19:41 -0500 Report

Hi NamVet.

I do not agree that money will poor in by providing good information. If you are just providing good information and not charging for it you will be lucky if you even break even. I base this on my experience over the last 3 years. I have 3 websites were I try to offer the best information I can find from many different sources. Last month was the first time it broke even for the month. I have 5 affiliate sponsors and 1 corporate sponsor. I also have a donation system set up. The sites have had over 1 million visitors over the past year. To date there have been 4 donations in 3 years. I only allow affiliates with products valuable to diabetics. It cost about $300 per month to run the sites and if I were not willing to pay it out of my VA disability it would not be there. It is similar for research, if there is not a strong profit motive behind the research the research has difficulty getting funded. Most research is funded by pharmaceutical companies looking to sell a drug. Much less research is funded by food companies trying to sell their products. Some of the research is badly skewed by special interest such as the American Sugar Industry to try to protect profits even though there is a clear bias that is not in the public interest. There is far too much misinformation coming from these types of studies that are conducted by academic prostitutes. You and I have to be really diligent to find the source of the funding and weigh how it affects the outcome of the study.

Charish 2008-10-13 15:42:29 -0500 Report

Hi Toma,

It is always good to read your insight to these and other problems faced by diabetics alike. I think in a big sense we are both on the same path but just stated a little different. Take care my treasured friend and keep on pushing because that one push that you make will be the one that will give all that is needed to continue your efforts and that you want have to pay yourself to continue. But most importantly know that your work is not in vain my friend.

Hugs and Kisses


GabbyPA 2008-10-11 03:18:09 -0500 Report

This is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know that studies are just that...and when they are so focused on one thing, other factors get overlooked. We just can't be all things to all men in this research. Like many have said, it's far too complicated and even our culture and countries that we live in make a difference. In actuallity, some of the meds that are perscribed to control our sugar in turn ruin something else...we have to know what we are taking and what it can do to us. Both good and bad.

I also am not a big fan of the ADA, and believe that they and the FDA have become "for profit" organizations that look for the buck and then pass the buck later.

However, if it were not for the basic guide lines of the ADA, I would not have known where to start in the treatment of my diabets. I just kind of "outgrew" it as I learned more. As I did my own experimenting, I found out that they are not always right for me.

Unfortunately, I am pretty much a non-believer in much that the government gets their fingers into. The recent events make that run even deeper in my veins...greed will get you every time, no matter what you do.

NamVet - 21894
NamVet - 21894 2008-10-10 00:02:14 -0500 Report

I think the ADA is out of touch with 25 million Diabetics. If it is even one or 25 million you still should wait till you have all the facts. Just a typical Washington take your money group..

marvinvwinkle 2008-10-10 01:34:17 -0500 Report

Look what the ADA has done with their web forums. They have virtually abandoned it. I left it because of all the problems with it.

kdroberts 2008-10-10 01:49:52 -0500 Report

Not true. They are actually working pretty hard on it. Communication was less than stellar but the boards are functioning well. Doesn't help when they are not the ones who actually do it either, it's a contracted IT company.

I think if the ADA went away, things would get a lot worse for people with diabetes.

marvinvwinkle 2008-10-10 04:22:27 -0500 Report

I'm not advocating ADA go away. I just want them participating more on their forum. The old moderator set up meetings with specialist in the field. The new one, nobody knows. People can't even get them to respond.

Toma 2008-10-10 04:30:54 -0500 Report


The ADA has done a lot of good in some areas and really fallen on their face in others. Without them there would have not been all the advances in treating type 1 diabetics.

My personal opinion is they lost their focus and objectivity when the got in bed with the pharma and food companies. With executives from food companies such as nestle and the major pharmaceutical companies on their board of directors I think there is a conflict of interest and the financial interest won out over the science and best interest of diabetics. I think it is absolutely ludicrous that the best sources of information are often from other diabetics who have found answers and are well controlled than from the ADA. There is lots of good research out there that is either being ignored or debunked because it conflicts with profits. ADA (there are several ADAs. The two most relevant for us is the Diabetes and Dietetic associations. Both are supporting outdated positions and both have sold out to the pharma and food companies. (as has the FDA)

kdroberts 2008-10-10 04:49:35 -0500 Report

Just to say, I'm no fan of them but I don't harbor the hatred that a lot do.

I don't like a lot of their policies but I have to accept that the people who are actively trying to manage their diabetes are the minority of diabetics and the policies they put forward actually do benefit the majority who don't pay much attention to their diabetes. While we may not agree that an a1c of 7% or under is the target, if you've never had an a1c test or you have always been sitting 8-10% without worrying about it, that 7% is a not too frightening goal and it might get you kick started or just talking to your doctor about things. If they put up that the goal should be 5.5%, most of those people will take one look, think they can't attain it and give up. They are trying to cover every one with diabetes but diabetes is such an individualized disease that it's impossible to do.

I much prefer regional associations. I'm not a member of the ADA but I am a member of my local association. Among other things they have local resources like libraries, they know the local area and what things are available for diabetics, they keep the money they earn for local programs and employ a good staff of health care professionals that are available easily.

Bluebutterfly 2008-10-09 22:11:03 -0500 Report

I think they should have waited until the had all the information not just part. This should'nt have published at all.

teddybearcub1960 2008-10-08 04:20:17 -0500 Report

Yeah I always was told between six and seven were good. I had never heard of the 4 range.

kdroberts 2008-10-08 04:59:02 -0500 Report

That's because the only long term, mass data available showed under 7 to be desirable and the point where chances of complications dropped off significantly. There are some new ones coming out that are starting to show otherwise but the number 7 wasn't pick out of thin air, it was based on some significant medical data. It doesn't help that we know so little about diabetes either, for all we know the a1c may be useless but for now it's one of the better guides around. The next 10 years will be interesting.

The ADA is also not the evil monster it get's made out to be. You have to remember that the audience it's trying to get to is in the millions and the majority of those have poor or mediocre control over their diabetes. If you try and come up with advice that applies to 25 million odd people, all from different walks of life and with multiple types of diabetes you'll soon discover what a difficult job it is.

NamVet - 21894
NamVet - 21894 2008-10-08 02:54:57 -0500 Report

Yes. But I think the ADA is out of touch with the real world of Diabetes. They are just another Washington group that writes, thinks and studies from there.
Never out in the real world..

azmisty 2008-05-01 07:11:34 -0500 Report


I read about that same study which I do find very surprising. Dr.Bernstein who wrote the "Diabetes Solution" book says that a true normal rate is 4.2-4.6. My Dr. is always talking about under 7. being good. It can all be very confusing!


Toma 2008-04-29 07:26:15 -0500 Report

Although they do not state specifics, I strongly suspect the group with the higher death rate from intensive management included people taking Avandia which has been linked to heart attacks. (Reference the ADVANCE and ACCORD studies.)

When evaluating information from ADA you have to consider a few facts.
1. The executive board of the ADA includes members from pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers. (I personally believe this is a conflict of interest.)
2. ADA is still defending old positions instead of embracing new information such as that on the Glycemic index.
3. ADA is still saying sugar is not a problem for type 2 diabetics.

ADA should be the final word on the best and most recent methods of controlling all forms of diabetes. It has been my personal experience that they are not. When I was diagnosed in February 2005 I was in serious trouble. The ADA recommendations were not working for me. I had to go to the internet to find better answers.

My last A1C was 5.0. All of my symptoms are reversing. (ADA says type 2 diabetes is progressive.) I am just a study of one, but I have reports from others with similar results. What we have is antidotal. This needs a clinical study which I do not believe will happen since there is no one with deep pockets and a desire to show that diet is the best way to control type 2 diabetes. Most of the studies are funded and promoted by companies with a financial interest in the outcome.

The ADA is in bed with drug manufacturers. The drug manufacturers do not want what I am doing to become common knowledge. Treating type 2 diabetes currently cost over 168 billion dollars. A huge portion of that is for drugs. It would hurt their profits if the general public becomes aware that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, controlled or reversed by something as simple (and unprofitable) as learning to eat properly.

Janexa 2008-04-19 15:07:01 -0500 Report

Not having read the article or heard of the research, I agree that this research should have not been released without further investigation into the deaths.

What is the link to the article/research?

Bernard Farrell
Bernard Farrell 2008-03-20 15:02:19 -0500 Report

This article is about the ACCORD trial. This trial was run by the NHLBI, I don't think ADA was involved.

What surprised me was that the intensive control was trying to accomplish an A1C below 6%. Even for people with type 2 that seems REALLY low.

In THIS case ADA isn't to blame. But they do have issues.

You can read my blog post on this at http://tinyurl.com/27bkof.

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2008-03-20 16:49:30 -0500 Report

Right, John, did you miss the whole huge controversy over the ACCORD trial?

Read all about it here:

This has been all over the national news, radio, TV, etc. Totally misinterpreted... Ugh!

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-03-21 02:36:45 -0500 Report

I guess I was too buried in putting together a new website. I completely missed the news until I read it on the ADA website.

Chris Jarvis
Chris Jarvis 2008-03-18 14:53:17 -0500 Report

This is not unusual in Type 2 diabetes… I have heard many medications being passed to reduce something even though it cuases increased health risks… thank God they removed that inhalable insulin from the market as that was surely going to drive up the problems too…

I would venture that the data must suggest some pro's of the intensive therapy and con's or side effects… I agree that it is of little benefit to mention details like this without guiding which aspect to avoid…

I would also venture that the ADA has taken up a policy that most diabetics won't follow the advice given to avoid death …so then avoid giving it all together.

CALpumper 2008-03-18 11:48:54 -0500 Report

To make news. To add more "umph" behind the number of Type 2s out there and those who do not know yet.
To add to the report on the cost of this disease (Type 2) on the US Economy.

Who knows.
One thing I do know, they know nothing really, about this disease. It is so complex. So vast and varies from person to person. How can they explain one aspect when the variables seem endless?

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