Pharmacy Times
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Diabetes and Acute Depression Raise Mortality Risk

Researchers found that the combination of heart disease, diabetes, and depression can be deadly. In patients with coronaryartery 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 evaluatedfor depression using a standard 21-item inventory. During the >4 years the patients were followed, 135 patients died. Thefindings showed that depression and diabetes were both connected with increased death, regardless of age, gender, bodyweight, and heart function. Of the patients with diabetes and CAD, having severe symptoms of depression further increased therisk by about 25%. (The findings were recently reported at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.)

Campaign Empowers Womenwith Diabetes

Novo Nordisk is taking diabetes education out of the clinicalsetting and into a fun and supportive environment with communityoutreach events.

In partnership with DIVABETIC, a diabetes outreach organization,the program, Divabetic?Makeover Your Diabetes, bringstogether well-known beauty and fashion experts and diabeteseducators to encourage women to improve how they or theirloved ones live with diabetes. The free motivational events areopen to women living with, at risk of, or affected by diabetes,and their family and friends are welcome to attend. For moreinformation, visit www.ChangingDiabetes-us.com and clickDivabetic?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 andblood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, according toa study reported in the March 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

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

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

Pesticide Contact May Increase Risk of Gestational Diabetes

Women exposed to agricultural pesticides in the firsttrimester of pregnancy face greater odds of developing gestationaldiabetes.

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

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

Urine Test May Foretell Diabetic Nephropathy

A urine test may help physicians predict the development ofdiabetic nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes beforethey develop the condition. For the study, the researchers comparedthe urinary protein profiles of 62 Pima Indians with type 2diabetes and normal kidney function. The patients were followedfor 10 years to track the development of diabetic kidneydisease.

The study identified a protein signature that was highly predictiveof the development of kidney disease. "While these findingsrequire a significant amount of work to identify and test therobustness of these markers, they offer the potential for cliniciansone day to be able to tell whether a diabetic patient willget renal failure well before the development of this devastatingcondition and, hence, offer hope for early intervention to preventits onset,"reported Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPh, in DiabetesCare (March 2007).

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