Diabetes Watch

JANUARY 01, 2009

Prediabetes Unknown to Many

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that too many adults are unaware of prediabetes and do not take enough action to lower their risk. The findings were based on data of about 24,000 adults who took part in the 2006 US National Health Interview Survey.

Of the 984 participants who had been told they had prediabetes, 64.4% were told they hold borderline diabetes, 38.3% were told they had high blood sugar, 33.7% were told they had prediabetes itself, 15.5% were told they had impaired glucose tolerance, and 15.2% were told they had impaired fasting glucose. Of the patients with prediabetes, 68% tried to lose or control weight, 55% increased their physical activity, and 60% reduced their intake of dietary fat or calories. The findings also indicated that only 42% took part in all 3 risk reduction activities, and 24% did not participate in any of the activities. The study was published in Mortality Weekly Report (October 31, 2008).

Save Your Feet

A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association revealed that medical care for diabetes is often not sought in time to prevent amputations. The research included 600 patients from 3 ethnic groups with the disease.

The data indicated that 75% of all survey respondents had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; the remaining 25% were considered high risk for developing the disease. Of the participants, 25% who had an amputation from diabetes reported they should have seen a specialist earlier; and 30% of the amputees said that paying closer attention to the warning signs would have prompted them to visit their physicians sooner.

Hispanic Americans were the least likely group to be tested for diabetes, compared with their black and white counterparts. The respondents cited the reason for not getting tested was mainly due to normal blood sugar levels or not having noticeable symptoms.

Eating Fish May Help Fight Kidney Disease

Incorporating fish twice a week into a diet might help patients with diabetes lower their odds of kidney disease, according to a study published in the November 2008 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. For the study, the researchers examined the records of >22,300 middle-aged and older English men and women who were part of a large European cancer study.

The findings reported that of the 517 patients who had diabetes, those who on average ate <1 serving of fish each week were 4 times more likely to have albumin present in their urine, compared with patients who ate fish twice a week. The researchers noted that clinical trials are needed to prove fish could fight against kidney disease in patients with diabetes.

Coated Stents Better for Diabetic Heart Patients

A 3-year follow-up of data on nearly 5000 patients with diabetes undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with stenting to reopen blocked vessels found drug-coated stents to be superior in both efficacy and safety, compared with bare metal stents.

The study results showed that two thirds of patients were treated with drug-eluting stents and one third were treated with bare metal stents. The researchers said there was a 5% reduction in the need for repeated procedures in the target vessel and a small, but significant and surprising decrease in death and subsequent heart attacks. The findings were recently presented at the American Heart Association?s annual scientific session.

Aspirin Does Not Shield Diabetics Against Heart Disease

Patients with diabetes are at greater risk for cardiovascular events. A new study showed that low-dose aspirin did not lower this risk, according to Japanese researchers.

In a randomized trial, 2539 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes with no history of atherosclerotic disease received low-dose aspirin (81 or 100 mg per day) or were part of a nonaspirin control group.

The findings, published in the November 12, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found a borderline significant reduction (32%) in the odds of coronary, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular events among volunteers aged 65 or older. Aspirin use, however, did not reduce the combined fatal coronary and cerebrovascular occurrences.

F A S T   F A C T: New cases of diagnosed diabetes have increased from 4.8 per 1000 individuals during 1995-1997 to 9.1 per 1000 in 2005-2007 in 33 states.