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Gene That Increases Likelihood of Type 2 Diabetes also Linked to Childhood Obesity
Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that a gene linked to type 2 diabetes in adults also increases the risk of being overweight during childhood, a significant factor that influences one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Study leader Struan FA Grant, PhD, a researcher and associate director of the Center for Applied Genomics at CHOP, and his team of researchers found that the gene HHEX-IDE increases an individual’s likelihood of being obese during childhood; HHEX-IDE is also a genetic contributor to an individual’s risk for type 2 diabetes. “...We now see that [this gene] may play an early role in influencing insulin resistance through its impact on body size during childhood,” said Grant. “One implication is that if we can develop medicines to target specific biological pathways in childhood, we may be able to prevent diabetes from developing later in life.” The full article was published online December 8, 2009, at www.HCPlive.com. Results of the study were also published in Diabetes.


Coffee and Tea—Not Just an Energy Jolt

That afternoon cup of coffee may do more than give an energy boost—it could also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A new metaanalysis by Rachel Huxley, MD, of the George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia, and a team of international researchers was published December 14, 2009, online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The review of studies conducted between 1966 and July 2009 suggested that every cup of coffee consumed reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 7%. Participants who drank 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day had about a 25% reduction in risk for developing diabetes, compared with noncoffee drinkers or those who drink ≤2 cups per day.

Huxley noted that proper diet and exercise are currently the best known ways to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, these initial findings suggest that coffee and tea contain compounds, such as magnesium, lignans, and chlorogenic acids, that may have an effect on blood sugar regulation. The isolation of the key ingredients that reduce the risk of diabetes could have an impact on future treatment of the disease.


Risk of Dying Elevated by History of Foot Ulcers
Marjolein M. Iversen, MSN, and colleagues recently completed a 10-year follow-up of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study in Norway—in this population-based study, they compared mortality rates for patients with diabetes with and without a history of foot ulcer (HFU) and with that for the nondiabetic population (December 2009 issue of Diabetes Care).

The researchers studied 155 individuals with diabetes with an HFU, 1339 individuals with diabetes without an HFU, and 63,632 individuals without diabetes who were all followed for 10 years. Iversen and colleagues found that, during this 10-year period, 49% of individuals with diabetes with an HFU died, compared with 35.2% of patients with diabetes without an HFU and 10.5% of those without diabetes. The researchers concluded that diabetes patients with an HFU should be closely monitored.


Diabetes Watch Diabetes Risk May Be Heightened by Gum Disease
Researchers from New York University’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry and the City University of New York recently examined data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine whether individuals with periodontitis (gum disease), compared with those without gum disease, would be recommended for diabetes screening.

Sheila M. Strauss, PhD, and colleagues analyzed data from 2923 participants aged 20 and older, who responded that they were never told they had diabetes, had a periodontal examination, and had enough data to compute body mass index. The researchers found that 93.4% of subjects with periodontal disease were at high risk for diabetes (and met the American Diabetes Association guidelines for diabetes screening), compared with only 62.9% of those without periodontitis.

In addition, a significantly higher number of respondents with periodontitis reported having high blood pressure and a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with diabetes, compared with those without gum disease. The findings are published in the January 2010 issue of Journal of Public Health Dentistry. ■



FAST FACT: Every year, 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in individuals aged ≥20 years.



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