Diabetes Watch

APRIL 01, 2009

Diabetes, Depression Link Identified in Pregnancy

A study of >11,000 low-income mothers with diabetes who are pregnant or recently gave birth shows that they have almost twice the risk of depression, compared with women without diabetes.

To determine whether or not diabetes is a factor in pre- and postpartum depression, the researchers looked at this group of women who gave birth between 2004 and 2006. Reporting in the February 25, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers found that 15.2% of women with the blood sugar disorder developed depression during or after their pregnancy. For the women without diabetes, 8.5% developed depression. In the women who never experienced depression before, 9.6% of those with diabetes developed depression, compared with 5.9% of those without diabetes.

“Health care facilities need to pay particular attention for depression in women with diabetes during the postpartum period,” said lead study author Katy Backes Kozhimannil, MPA. “Both diabetes and depression in the postpartum period are treatable.”

Amputations More Prevalent in Diabetics

A new study on amputations found that patients with diabetes are 8 times more prone to have a lower limb amputated, compared with patients without the disease. The researchers based the findings on all lower limb amputations performed because of clogged arteries in residents of an area in Sweden from 1997 to 2006.

Throughout the study, 62 women and 71 men with diabetes and 79 women and 78 men without diabetes had a lower limb amputated. The rates of initial one-sided amputation per 100,000 persons per year were 197 for men and 192 for women with diabetes, compared with only 24 men and 22 women without the disease. Researchers noted that the most common type of amputation was above the foot but below the knee, which accounts for 74% of all lower limb amputations. The study was published in Diabetes Care (February 2009).

Diabetics Can Choose Diet Plans

Diabetes patients can have diets high in either monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or carbohydrates as long as the calories consumed are limited, found a study published in Diabetes Care (February 2009). The study involved 124 overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes who were assigned either a diet high in MUFA or one high in carbohydrates for 1 year.

The researchers noted that the diet plans were individualized to provide 200 to 300 calories per day less than calculated daily requirements. After a year, 69% for the high-MUFA group and 84% for the high-carbohydrate group were still participating. The findings indicated an average weight loss of 8.8 lb in the high-MUFA group and 8.4 lb in the high-carbohydrate group. The researchers also observed similar improvements in body fat, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, A1C, and glucose and insulin.

Study Finds Eggs-Diabetes Connection

Individuals who enjoy a daily breakfast of eggs may be increasing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to study findings reported in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care.

The long-term study of 57,000 adults showed that the participants who ate an egg daily were 59% to 77% more prone to develop diabetes, compared with nonegg-eaters. Lead researcher Luc Djousse, MD, said it is important for patients at risk of type 2 diabetes to limit their cholesterol intake, and not just cholesterol from eggs. He also stressed maintaining a normal weight, exercising regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet.

Curriculum Targets Specific Patient Population

The National Diabetes Education Program has developed a curriculum, Power to Prevent: A Family Lifestyle Approach to Diabetes Prevention, to help blacks learn how to apply type 2 diabetes prevention strategies in their own communities. Statistics indicate that approximately 13% of blacks over age 20 have diabetes.

The curriculum includes 12 effective, step-by-step lesson plans to help individuals take control of their eating habits and engage in a more physically active lifestyle. Whereas the curriculum was developed with this patient population in mind, the information can be used by anyone interested in learning about type 2 diabetes.

F A S T   F A C T: Family history is closely associated with developing diabetes later in life.