Diabetes Watch Blog: From Medicineworld.org
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Medicineworld.org publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.
The only global congress related to diabetes will be a watershed event not only providing a unique platform for discussion of the latest scientific advances in the field but also offering practical information on diabetes care, advocacy and awareness.
An expected number of 10 000 participants from the broad diabetes community worldwide will come together to share knowledge, experience and ideas.
For the diabetes community on the African continent it will offer a chance to raise awareness of the seriousness of the condition and bring hope to those living with diabetes across the region.
Various types of insulin patches are under development by different pharmaceutical manufactures. Dermisonics Inc. is developing a new, ultrasonic transdermal drug-delivery patch and the company has recently announced that it has received approval from the regulatory authorities to enter into the next stage of human pilot trials of its proprietary U-Strip (TM) Insulin Patch drug-delivery system.
The trials, expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006, will evaluate the use of U-Strip transdermal patch device as an insulin delivery system for Type-2 diabetics.
If successful, it would add this painless and convenient alternative strategy to the armamentarium of the currently existing 175 or more drug formulations to treat diabetes.
The initial pilot study would involve a small group of volunteers with Type-2 diabetes, to compare the performance of the Dermisonics U-Strip (TM) Insulin Patch system with an existing FDA-approved insulin pump delivery system. The test will run for approximately three months. The study will evaluate the effectiveness of the Insulin Patch in comparison to conventional pump therapy, with one significant advantage; the U-Strip(TM) Insulin Patch will be totally non-invasive. The results of the study are expected to be available by 2006.
Think about it! Every 30 seconds a lower limb is amputated somewhere in the world as the direct result of diabetes. This is, according to the data released by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF). Do you need another reason to keep your feet first?
"Put Feet First: Prevent Amputations", this was the theme of the just diabetic day about a month ago. The point is even after the diabetes day long gone you still have to keep your feet first.
When you put your feet first you will know what are the warning symptoms of decreased blood circulation in the legs, and you will care better for your feet. By putting your feet first you will learn to recognize the problem before a wound or non-healing ulcer develop. This will go a long way in prevention of diabetic gangrene and amputations.
Did you know that foot problems lead to more hospitalizations in diabetics compared to any other diabetic related problems? I didn't know until I started reading about it. Also you might be surprised to know that 70 percent of all amputations, which are not related to trauma, occur due to diabetes.
Putting your feet first involves the following steps:
Patients taking Actos (pioglitazone) also experienced considerable reductions in insulin resistance, C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation) and blood pressure, all of which contribute to the overall risk for cardiovascular disease. Beyond its effects on blood glucose, it also keeps the blood vessels healthy precluding the hardening of the arteries.
In the main study, 5,238 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to pioglitazone or placebo in addition to glucose-lowering drugs and other medications, and followed for an average of 34.5 months.
In these patients, pioglitazone significantly reduced the risk of fatal or recurrent non-fatal MI by 28% (a pre-specified endpoint) and significantly reduced the risk of acute coronary syndromes by 37% (part of a post hoc exploratory analysis).
Pioglitazone has shown to increases HDL cholesterol levels and LDL particle size, and decreases levels of triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
"People with diabetes in Canada have difficulty accessing and affording the diabetes medications, devices and supplies they need to manage their disease and reduce their risk of very costly health complications," Dr. Karen Philp, the group's national director of public policy and government relations, said releasing the report.
"There are startling variations in drug plan coverage and financial support for Canadians living with diabetes," Philp said. "A national catastrophic drug plan can ensure that Canadians, no matter where they live, have access to the diabetes medications and supplies they need."
Canada as you may all know has a government owned and controlled health system. Like any other system this policy has good and bad effects. Unlike in the United States all Canadian citizens and permanent residents have medical insurance coverage provided by the government. However this comes at a price. Canada is often slow to adopt the new drugs and devices. Medical resources and investigation facilities may be limited, causing some excess waiting compared to the United States. Sometime the waiting time may reach unacceptable levels.
More than two million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes, a number that's expected to rise to at least three million by 2010. This year's price tag for controlling the disease and treating its complications - among them limb amputation, kidney failure and vision loss - is projected to reach a staggering $13 billion. But with half of those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes not meeting targeted blood-sugar levels, the proportion of those with complications is sure to rise.
Studies of coronary narrowing at cardiac catheterization or autopsy show a reduction in atherosclerosis in persons who consume moderate amounts of alcohol. This protective effect of alcohol is independent of other factors like diet and cigarette smoking.
So far good! A new research suggests that things may not be as fruity as above. Researchers from New Zealand say that the harmful effects of alcohol may offset any gain in benefit in coronary artery disease. They say that drinking a glass or two of wine a day may not be such a good idea. Their findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Lancet.
These researchers claim that past studies that showed beneficial effects of alcohol are flawed.
Indeed, there is more evidence that heavier drinking provides the most heart protection - alcoholics have relatively 'clean' arteries they say. But overdrinking may have its own health hazards including damage to the liver and development of cirrhosis. These researchers are warning not assume there is a window in which the health benefits of alcohol are greater than the harms. The health risks of alcohol definitely outweigh the risks the authors say.
The researchers conclude: The good news is that people can still enjoy alcohol in moderation, especially during the festive period. There is no evidence to suggest that light to moderate alcohol consumption will actually harm the heart. However over indulging can have an adverse effect on your health.
Doctors have observed that children with type-1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes), who develop the disease very early in the course of life, may show signs of decline in mental abilities. Low blood sugar means lower supply of energy to the whole body including the brain. The question in every parents mind is: do these severe episodes of hypoglycemia, seizures or coma in young children cause impairments in mental ability or behavior?
As per a new study from Australia there are no significant differences in mental abilities between those children who had hypoglycemia and seizures in the early years compared to those children who never had such episodes. The study showed no correlation between the number of severe hypoglycemic events and the memory, intellectual, or behavioral scores. There was no difference between the early first seizure subgroup and no-seizure group even on those delayed recall tasks studied distinctively given the concern about the prospective effect of hypoglycemia on memory function.
The researchers conclude that these results render some encouragement to those children with type 1 diabetes with intensive treatment that seizures and or coma at a young age does not necessarily lead to a gross cognitive or behavioral impairment."
At the same time low saturated diet had no significant impact on girls. The exact cause of this difference between boys and girls is unknown. Researchers speculate that this may be due to the level of sex hormones present in boys and girls.
The study indicated better endothelial health for those who were on a low saturated fat diet compared to the boys eating a typical diet. As per an analysis, the superiority of the endothelial function in boys was because of the lower fat diet early in life rather than later.
Previous studies have indicated that beginning a low saturated-fat diet in infancy with individualized diet and lifestyle counseling could lower cholesterol in children without harming their growth or neurological development.
There is clear evidence from clinical trials that a new inhaled formulation of insulin, Exubera, is as effective as traditional subcutaneous injections in controlling blood glucose in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The new formulation, is likely to be the first non-injectable insulin on the market.
Recent clinical trial results with Exubera are reviewed in the journal Core Evidence. Researchers say that one reason that clinicians and patients are often reluctant to initiate insulin therapy is due to the burden of daily injections, and the risk of low blood sugar and weight gain.
Exubera is a dry powder formulation packaged into blisters and delivered via a hand-held inhaler device developed by Nektar Therapeutics. It is jointly developed by Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis. Its approval has been recommended by an FDA Advisory Board in the United States, and by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency.
The review in Core Evidence states that there is clear evidence that Exubera is as effective as subcutaneous insulin in reducing HbA1c levels, which is the key indicator of blood glucose control, in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The article also found that "inhaled insulin" had a greater acceptance relating to convenience and ease of use." The incidence of weight gain and hypoglycemia was no greater with Exubera compared with subcutaneous insulin, and in short-term trials there was no effect on pulmonary function.
I was reading a study, which was presented in the recent meeting of the American Medical association. Basically it did not suggest anything that we didn't know, but just reconfirmed our thoughts.
Researchers said that a combination of diet and low-dose pravastatin (prvachol) reduced the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in people with moderately elevated cholesterol. I am sure an active exercise program would add to the benefits, even though the researchers did not mention this.
The study showed 33 percent reduction in the coronary artery disease in those people with high cholesterol level who were taking pravachol and eating a healthy diet compared to those who were on diet therapy alone. This was a study from Japan and it was the first study in Japan to show reduction in the coronary artery disease from statin therapy. The benefits were seen both in men and women.
"Diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputation, kidney disease and nerve damage. Two-thirds of people with diabetes die from a heart attack or stroke," said Dr. Frank Vinicor, director of CDC's diabetes program.
Highlights From the CDC fact sheet:
Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90% of cases diabetes. This disease affects nearly 17 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Even though 17 million Americans have type-2 diabetes only half of these people are aware that they have diabetes. The death rate in patients with diabetes may be up to 11 times higher than in persons without the disease. The occurrence of diabetes in persons 45 to 64 years of age is 7 percent, but the proportion increases significantly in persons 65 years of age or older. Type-2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
Diabetes Watch Blog: From Medicineworld.org
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