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Diabetes doubles over two decades
April 14th, 2014
05:01 PM ET

Diabetes doubles over two decades

The prevalence of diabetes in the United States has nearly doubled in the past two decades, according to a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study authors found that this rise in diabetes from 5.5% to 9.3% of the U.S. population over the last 20 years paralleled the growing rate of obesity in America.

Better screening tools such as a hemoglobin A1c diagnostic test have also helped physicians identify more diabetes cases, the researchers say.

In 1988, about 16% of individuals who met the criteria for diabetes were not diagnosed by a physician. That number fell to 11% in 2010. Because the total number of diabetics in the United States has increased to nearly 21 million, the study authors say the number of estimated undiagnosed cases - around 2.3. million - has remained the same over the last two decades.

"My hope, and obviously everybody's hope, is that 11% will go down further as there's improved access to healthcare for all Americans," said Dr. Martin Abrahamson, who was not involved in the study.

Experts predict that the number of Americans with diabetes will reach 44 million by 2034 if things don't change.


Middle-aged? Put down the meat
March 5th, 2014
09:12 AM ET

Middle-aged? Put down the meat

Eating a high-protein diet in middle age could increase your risk of diabetes and cancer, according to a study published this week in the journal Cell Metabolism. But don't stay away from meat for too long - the same study showed those over 65 need more protein to reduce their mortality risk.

Background

Insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1, is a protein in your body related to growth and development. Past studies have linked IGF-1 to age-related diseases, including cancer. Mice and humans with higher levels of IGF-1 often have a higher risk of developing these diseases.

Scientists believe protein intake plays a role in IGF-1 activity. Eating less protein, studies have shown, can lead to lower levels of IGF-1 in your body. So theoretically, protein consumption could be directly linked to disease incidence and death. FULL POST


NIH, drug companies team up to target diseases
February 4th, 2014
02:41 PM ET

NIH, drug companies team up to target diseases

The National Institutes of Health is partnering with researchers from 10 rival drug companies and several nonprofit organizations to develop new and earlier treatments for diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer's and lupus.

The partnership, announced  Tuesday by NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, "could change the way scientific research is conducted."

"This is an unprecedented partnership, bringing the best and brightest scientists from the public and the private sectors together to discover the next generation of drug targets that are going to transform our ability to treat Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and that's just getting started,” Collins said.

The consortium will be known as the Accelerating Medicines Partnership.  It will focus at first on three disease groups: Alzheimer's, diabetes and autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

FULL POST


Diabetes continues to spread around the world
This map shows the 10 countries/territories with the highest diabetes prevalence rates in adults aged 20 to 79, in 2013.
November 14th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Diabetes continues to spread around the world

On World Diabetes Day, news about the disease's global impact is dire.

An estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to a new report from the International Diabetes Federation. The IDF expects that number to rise to 592 million by 2035, when one in every 10 people will have the disease.

"Diabetes in all its forms imposes unacceptably high human, social and economic costs on countries at all income levels," the report authors begin in the executive summary. They go on to say that this latest edition of the Diabetes Atlas "carries a bitter but unavoidable message: despite the array of tools at our disposal to tackle the disease... the battle to protect people from diabetes and its disabling, life-threatening complications is being lost."
FULL POST


5 studies you may have missed
A slow metabolism may indeed be linked to obesity in some cases, a new study finds.
October 25th, 2013
02:08 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published recently that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Some obesity may be related to slow metabolism, really
Journal: Cell

"Slow metabolism" as an explanation for obesity has been largely knocked down by doctors as inaccurate. But University of Cambridge researchers showed in a new study that mutations on a particular gene slow metabolism, which may be linked to obesity in some people.

Previous research had shown that mice without the gene KSR2 tended to become overweight.

In this study, researchers sequenced the DNA of 2,101 people with severe early-onset obesity and 1,536 people who were not obese. They saw that mutations in KSR2 were associated with "hyperphagia (increased appetite) in childhood, low heart rate, reduced basal metabolic rate and severe insulin resistance."

Fewer than one in 100 people have KSR2 mutations, and some of those do have normal weight, BBC News reports.

This genetics research could have implications for developing drugs that help people with obesity and type 2 diabetes, the study said.

High blood sugar linked to memory problems
Journal: Neurology

Past studies have suggested that diabetes raises the risk for Alzheimer's disease although it's not entirely clear why. New research finds that even in people who don't have diabetes, chronically higher blood glucose levels are associated with poorer outcomes in the brain.

This study looked at 141 people, average age 63, without diabetes or pre-diabetes. No participants were overweight or had memory and thinking impairment.

On cognitive tests, participants with lower blood glucose levels performed better in terms of delayed recall, learning ability and memory consolidation than those with higher levels. What's more, those with higher levels tended to have smaller volumes in the hippocampus, a sea horse-shaped brain structure crucial for memory.

“These results suggest that even for people within the normal range of blood sugar, lowering their blood sugar levels could be a promising strategy for preventing memory problems and cognitive decline as they age,” study author Dr. Agnes Flöel of Charité University Medicine in Berlin said in a statement. “Strategies such as lowering calorie intake and increasing physical activity should be tested.”

This study received significant media attention, but Dr. Jane Chiang, the American Diabetes Association's Senior vice president of medical affairs and community information, said she has a lot of concerns about the way it was conducted. The participants weren't entirely "healthy," according to their blood glucose levels in fact, they may have diabetes and not know it, she said.

A bigger concern, Chiang said, is that older adults aren't recommended to have a strictly regulated "normal" blood glucose in the first place. Low blood sugar presents dangerous risks of falls and seizures, so the American Diabetes Association discourages tight blood sugar control in older adults.

FULL POST


Study: Diet soda may do more harm than good
July 10th, 2013
05:01 PM ET

Study: Diet soda may do more harm than good

Diet soda drinkers have the same health issues as those who drink regular soda, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Purdue University researchers reviewed a dozen studies published in past five years that examined the relationship between consuming diet soda and health outcomes. They then published an opinion piece on their findings in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, saying they were “shocked” by the results.

"Honestly, I thought that diet soda would be marginally better compared to regular soda in terms of health," said Susan Swithers, the report's author and a behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychological sciences. “But in reality it has a counterintuitive effect.”

FULL POST


Fewer, larger meals key to weight loss?
June 25th, 2013
11:09 AM ET

Fewer, larger meals key to weight loss?

You've probably heard that eating multiple small meals throughout the day is a good way to stave off hunger and keep your metabolism revved up while trying to lose weight. But a new study could change your diet strategy.

Eating two large meals early and skipping dinner may lead to more weight loss than eating six smaller meals throughout the day, research presented at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions conference this week in Chicago suggests.

"Both experimental and human studies strongly support the positive effects of intermittent fasting," lead study author Dr. Hana Kahleova told CNN in an e-mail.
FULL POST


February 28th, 2013
04:29 PM ET

Sitting less may reduce diabetes risk

How long have you been sitting today? Here's one more reason that you should get up and move around once in a while.

A new study in the journal Diabetologia suggests that reducing your sitting time is more important in lowering your risk of diabetes than exercise. This is just the latest in a string of research suggesting that moving around helps your health. But the new results should not replace standard recommendations for exercise, and more research is required to understand the reasons for the findings, said lead study author Joseph Henson.

"It looks as if just sitting for long periods of time has a real negative impact upon overall health," Henson said.

FULL POST


New diabetes guidelines for children
January 28th, 2013
04:56 PM ET

New diabetes guidelines for children

Doctors have a new set of guidelines when treating children diagnosed with type II diabetes. It's the first time recommendations have been issued for children aged 10 to 18, a sign that childhood obesity continues to have a broad impact.

More children are developing type II diabetes "largely due to the increase in obesity and overweight (patients) in the pediatric population, as well as the overall population and the decreased activity we are seeing in our young people," said Dr. Janet Silverstein, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and chief of endocrinology at the University of Florida's Shands Hospital.

Type II diabetes affects 90% to 95% of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, while it's still rare in children and adolescents,  it's being diagnosed more frequently among minority populations including American Indians, African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asians/Pacific Islanders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FULL POST


Makers of diabetes drug will pay $90 million
November 15th, 2012
06:26 PM ET

Makers of diabetes drug will pay $90 million

GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the diabetes drug Avandia, will pay tens of millions of dollars to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its drug.

In February 2010, a 334-page report by the Senate Finance Committee claimed that the drug was linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks and that GlaxoSmithKline knew of the risks for years but worked to keep them from the public. At the time, GlaxoSmithKline rejected any assertions that the drug is not safe.

"On November 15, 2012, GSK entered into a settlement with 37 states and the District of Columbia over allegations regarding the sales and promotion of Avandia. GSK has agreed to pay $90 million to be divided among the 37 states and the District of Columbia," Bernadette King, a U.S.-based spokeswoman for the company, said in a statement.

"With regards to Avandia, we firmly believe we acted responsibly in conducting the clinical trial program, in marketing the medicine, in monitoring its safety once it was approved for use and in updating information in the medicine's labeling as new information became available," she wrote.
FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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