Saturday, June 8, 2013

Gestational Diabetes May Signal Future Risk

Women with gestational diabetes who have a cluster of symptoms typical of metabolic syndrome are more likely to go on to develop diabetes over 10 years, researchers found.

Action Points

  • Women with gestational diabetes who have a cluster of symptoms typical of metabolic syndrome are more likely to go on to develop diabetes over 10 years, a study found. 
  • Note that 35% of women with gestational diabetes fell into a high-risk cluster with elevated body mass index, systolic blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and triglycerides, and lower HDL levels during pregnancy.

Read full article here

Friday, June 7, 2013

Diabetes Reaches Epidemic Proportions in Arkansas

The State of Diabetes in Arkansas 

The prevalence of diabetes in Arkansas has been at or above the national average for the past 10 years. There was a 35% increase in the diabetes prevalence from 1993 to 2002.

An estimated 227,000 adult Arkansans had diabetes in 2003. Of those, 151,000 were diagnosed, but it remained undetected and untreated in the rest.

The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, with the prevalence among persons over the age of 45 being more than four times greater than the prevalence found among younger persons.

The diabetes prevalence among African Americans (9.7 %) is significantly higher than among whites (7.1%).

Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Arkansas and the 4th leading cause of death among African Americans.

Source: Arkansas Matters  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Salmon Pinwheel Salad Recipe

Salmon spirals served on a bed of greens and oranges is a colorful main dish to serve for entertaining.

1 1 1/2 pound  fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillet, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1/8 teaspoon  salt
1/8 teaspoon  black pepper
1/2 cup  dry white wine or water
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon  black pepper
4 cups  torn curly endive
4 cups  torn red-tipped leaf lettuce
2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 cup  thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup  sliced almonds, toasted
1 recipe Fresh Orange Dressing (see recipe below)

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut lengthwise into 6 even strips. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Starting with the thick end of each strip, roll up into a pinwheel. Secure with a wooden toothpick or skewer.

2. In a medium skillet combine white wine, bay leaf, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to boiling. Add fish pinwheels. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once. Using a slotted spoon, remove fish from cooking liquid. Cover and chill for 2 to 12 hours. Discard cooking liquid.

3. To serve, divide the endive, leaf lettuce, orange sections, cucumber slices, and almonds among six dinner plates. Spoon the Fresh Orange Dressing over lettuce mixture. Top with the fish pinwheels. Makes 6 servings.

Fresh Orange Dressing

YIELD: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup  light dairy sour cream
1/2 teaspoon  finely shredded orange peel
2 tablespoons  orange juice
2 teaspoons  sugar
1/2 teaspoon  poppy seeds
1. In a small bowl stir together sour cream, orange peel, orange juice, sugar, and poppy seeds. Stir in enough additional orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a dressing of desired consistency. Makes about 1/2 cup.

MAKES: 6 servings - Carb Grams per serving = 9

Source: Diabetic Living

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A former blockbuster diabetes pill that was subjected to major safety restrictions in 2010 may be less risky than once thought, according to the latest analysis of the much-debated GlaxoSmithKline drug Avandia.

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing a new interpretation of the key study of Avandia's heart attack risks, which suggests the drug is as safe as older diabetes drugs. 

At a highly unusual meeting this week, the FDA will ask a panel of experts to vote on a range of options for the drug, including lifting restrictions on its use.

The positive safety review from Duke University researchers is the latest twist in a yearslong debate over Avandia, which has divided medical experts, cost Glaxo billions of dollars and possibly resulted in an unknown number of patient heart attacks.

First approved in 1999, Avandia became the top-selling diabetes pill in the world by 2006 with sales of $3.4 billion. But prescriptions plummeted the following year after an analysis of dozens of studies suggested Avandia could raise the risk of heart attack.

For three years the FDA struggled to answer a seemingly simple question: Does Avandia increase the risk of heart attacks? A definitive answer has never been reached, in part because patients with diabetes are already predisposed to heart problems. That makes it extremely difficult to tell which heart attacks are drug-related and which are simply a result of the underlying disease.

Finally in 2010 the FDA decided to restrict the drug's use to all but the rarest of cases. Regulators in Europe banned the drug outright.

FDA critics have speculated that the real purpose of this week's meeting is to vindicate FDA officials who have kept Avandia on the market for so many years. They say regulators appear poised to roll back safety limits on the drug.

"It's the wrong reason to take a regulatory action," said Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, who authored the 2007 analysis that first raised public safety concerns about Avandia.

"You want to take a regulatory action because it's going to benefit patients. I don't see how patients could possibly benefit from lifting these regulatory restrictions."

Nissen says he requested time to make a formal presentation during the meeting but was turned down by FDA officials.

The FDA says Wednesday and Thursday's meeting was prompted by a new analysis of the lone study of Avandia's heart risks. Known as RECORD, the study followed 4,400 patients and tracked rates of heart attack, hospitalization and death for six years.

The results were first reported in 2009 and medical experts have been debating their legitimacy ever since.

At the last Avandia panel meeting in 2010, FDA leadership generally backed RECORD's findings that Avandia appeared as safe as other standard diabetes drugs. But FDA staff scientists said the study was unreliable because of underreported heart attacks and other design flaws. Because of that disagreement the FDA asked Glaxo to obtain an independent analysis by an outside party.

The new analysis by the Duke Clinical Research Institute generally supports Glaxo's original findings. In a review memo posted Monday, three senior FDA drug officials state: "After re-adjudication, we do not find a cardiovascular signal of concern in RECORD. The mortality data are, in fact, reassuring."

Despite that assessment, the agency says it "has not reached any final updated conclusions" on the heart safety of Avandia.

The FDA will seek advice from two panels comprised of outside experts in the fields of diabetes and drug safety. 

The panelists will be asked to vote on four options for Avandia:

  • Removing the drug's safety restrictions
  • Leaving the safety restrictions in place
  • Modifying the safety restrictions
  • Withdrawing the drug from the market entirely

Finish reading rest of article at Fox News

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Treatment Could Stop or Delay Diabetes

A cure for diabetes could be available in the near future following the development of a new technique designed to protect insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

The Daily Express reports that the process uses stem cells to protect and regenerate pancreatic beta cells. 

These unique cells are responsible for producing and secreting the hormone insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check. But in people with diabetes, they are either damaged or destroyed.

According to the paper, early trials by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim have shown encouraging results in strengthening beta cells and improving their function.

"This could be a cure if linked with early diagnosis and treatment," said Michel Pairet, head of pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim’s non-clinical research and development. 

Pairet states "The next wave of innovation is to try to protect the beta cell in the pancreas and maybe to cure the disease by inducing the regeneration of the cells . We are working on that. We started four years ago and, though it is difficult to say when because it is early pre-clinical development, the realistic timeline could be around 10 years."

Dr Pairet explained that protecting beta cells or helping these cells regenerate means that the treatment could help "stop or significantly delay" the disease and its associated complications. 

"A person’s need for insulin would be reduced or postponed – and that is our goal," he added.

Studies in which cell structures are reprogrammed to alter the need for insulin are now being conducted at Boehringer centres in Germany but future trials could be held in the UK.

Source: the global diabetes community