MAY 01, 2007

Diabetes and Acute Depression Raise Mortality Risk

Researchers found that the combination of heart disease, diabetes, and depression can be deadly. In patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), the presence of diabetes or depression increased the chance of dying from heart disease.

The study included 907 patients with CAD. Of the participants, 325 also had type 2 diabetes. All of the participants were evaluated for depression using a standard 21-item inventory. During the >4 years the patients were followed, 135 patients died. The findings showed that depression and diabetes were both connected with increased death, regardless of age, gender, body weight, and heart function. Of the patients with diabetes and CAD, having severe symptoms of depression further increased the risk by about 25%. (The findings were recently reported at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.)

Campaign Empowers Women with Diabetes

Novo Nordisk is taking diabetes education out of the clinical setting and into a fun and supportive environment with community outreach events.

In partnership with DIVABETIC, a diabetes outreach organization, the program, Divabetic?Makeover Your Diabetes, brings together well-known beauty and fashion experts and diabetes educators to encourage women to improve how they or their loved ones live with diabetes. The free motivational events are open to women living with, at risk of, or affected by diabetes, and their family and friends are welcome to attend. For more information, visit www.ChangingDiabetes-us.com and click Divabetic?Makeover Your Diabetes, or call 800-634-8888.

Go with the Flow: Try Tai Chi

The art of tai chi chuan may help improve immune function and blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study reported in the March 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

For the study, researchers had 32 men and women participate in 3 hour-long sessions of the martial art weekly for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that after 12 weeks the participants with the disease had statistically significant reductions in their levels of A1C. The group also demonstrated increases in regulatory T cells, while their levels of killer T cells diminished. The researchers concluded that "an appropriate combination of the tai chi chuan exercise program with diabetic medications may improve both glucose metabolism and immunity of type 2 diabetic patients."

Pesticide Contact May Increase Risk of Gestational Diabetes

Women exposed to agricultural pesticides in the first trimester of pregnancy face greater odds of developing gestational diabetes.

The current study evaluated the risk of developing gestational diabetes following pesticide exposure among wives of farmers enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study. Of the 11,273 women who became pregnant within 25 years of entering the study, 506 (4.5%) reported having gestational diabetes. Overall, 57% of the participants said that they mixed or applied pesticides at some point in their life, and the ratio was similar for those with and without gestational diabetes.

The study, reported in Diabetes Care (March 2007), found, however, that women who mixed or applied pesticides or repaired equipment used for pesticides during the first trimester of pregnancy had a >2-fold increased risk of developing diabetes while pregnant. In comparison, women with residential exposures to pesticides or indirect exposures during the first trimester did not have an increased gestational diabetes risk.

Urine Test May Foretell Diabetic Nephropathy

A urine test may help physicians predict the development of diabetic nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes before they develop the condition. For the study, the researchers compared the urinary protein profiles of 62 Pima Indians with type 2 diabetes and normal kidney function. The patients were followed for 10 years to track the development of diabetic kidney disease.

The study identified a protein signature that was highly predictive of the development of kidney disease. "While these findings require a significant amount of work to identify and test the robustness of these markers, they offer the potential for clinicians one day to be able to tell whether a diabetic patient will get renal failure well before the development of this devastating condition and, hence, offer hope for early intervention to prevent its onset,"reported Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPh, in Diabetes Care (March 2007).