AUGUST 01, 2008

What Did You Say?

A study, reported online June 17, 2008, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that hearing loss is twice as common in individuals with diabetes, compared with individuals without the disease. The findings were based on data from 5140 adults aged 20 to 69 who underwent hearing tests.

The tests indicated that low- or mid-frequency hearing impairment of mild or greater severity was found in 21% of the 399 participants with diabetes and 9% of the 4741 who did not have it. High-frequency hearing impairment of mild or greater severity was detected in 54% of those with diabetes, compared with 32% of those without it. The researchers said that diabetes may lead to hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear.

Women with Diabetes, Heart Disease Get Less Care

Women may have more trouble controlling their diabetes and heart disease because they receive less medical treatment compared with men, a new study has found. The results may explain why death from heart disease is being reduced in men with diabetes but not among women. The study results were based on nearly 45,000 patients with type 2 diabetes, 40% of whom had heart and vascular disease. ?More aggressive treatment of cardiovascular disease in women with diabetes may improve gender disparity in cardiovascular disease mortality,? said study author Ionanna Gouni-Berthold, MD.

Better Glycemic Control Needed in Pregnant Women

British women whose glycemic levels are poorly controlled before and during pregnancy have poorer outcomes and their babies are not as healthy, according to findings from the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health, a 12-month survey of pregnant women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom.

?Women with diabetes continue to have higher perinatal mortality and higher congenital abnormality rates than the general population,? according to study director Jo Modder, MD, consultant to the National Health Service Foundation, London. The findings were presented recently at the American Diabetes Association?s 68th Annual Scientific Session. For more news from the meeting, visit www.PharmacyTimes.com/ADA.

Weight Loss May Drive Diabetes into Remission

Weight reduction plays an important role in improving diabetes after obese patients undergo gastric bypass surgery, according to findings presented recently at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The researchers were quick to point out that the metabolic effects should not take priority over the importance of losing weight following surgery.

The study included patients with obesity and diabetes who had stomach-reduction surgery. Of the patients, 71 had severe diabetes that necessitated insulin therapy because oral medications could not control the disease.

After 1 year, all the patients were able to lower the dose or number of their diabetes-related medications. Of the patients with severe diabetes, 48% went into remission. Researcher Eric DeMaria, MD, stressed that weight loss during the first 3 weeks to 6 months following gastric bypass surgery was vital for patients to achieve diabetes remission.

Diabetes, Depression Linked, Study Says

A study, reported in the June 18, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found an interesting twist on depression and diabetes. Patients receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes face increased risk for depression. Individuals with depression have a moderately greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The researchers explored the association between diabetes and depression by analyzing data on 6814 participants who had 3 examinations between 2000 and 2005. Of the 4847 patients without depression, the frequency of depression symptoms during follow-up was similar for patients without diabetes and those with untreated type 2 diabetes. The rate, however, was twice as high in patients being treated for type 2 diabetes.

The study also indicated that patients with depression symptoms were nearly 30% more prone to develop diabetes during the study.

F A S T   F A C T : Diabetes households spend an average of $106 per month on prescription medications, according to Wilson Health Information.