Diabetes Watch

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Low Blood Sugar Does Not Impair Cognitive Function

A study of 175 teenagers with type 1diabetes found that patients who workto keep their glucose levels under tightcontrol may have more episodes oftoo-low blood sugar, but the outcomehas no lasting effects on cognitive function.The participants, aged 13 to 19,were enrolled in the Diabetes Controland Complications Trial. The teenagersunderwent comprehensive cognitivetests when they were 29 and 41 yearsold. The findings showed that 51 of the82 participants assigned to intensivediabetes therapy reported a total of 200episodes of coma or seizure relatedto hypoglycemia. Of the conventionaltreatment group, 94 similar episodeswere reported by 36 of 93 patients."Neither original treatment assignmentnor cumulative number of hypoglycemicevents influenced performancein any cognitive domain," wrote theresearchers in Diabetes Care (October2008).

Low BMD Troublesome in Diabetic Women

A study, reported in Diabetes Care(September 2008), confirmed that youngwomen with type 1 diabetes have lowerbone mineral densities (BMDs), comparedwith women without the disease.

The researchers previously reportedthat young women with type 1 diabeteshave a lower BMD, compared with theircounterparts of the same age, but withoutdiabetes. The researchers have nowcompleted a 2-year follow-up study ofthese women to determine if BMD differencescontinue over time. The studyincluded 63 women with the disease and85 participants in the control group.

After taking into account age, bodymass index, and oral contraceptive use,BMD still remained lower in the diabetesgroup, compared with the control groupafter 2 years. The patients with diabeteswho were younger than 20 years old alsohad lower BMD values, compared withthe control group. The differences werenot statistically significant.

Eat Your Greens

Individuals can lower their risk of diabetes by eating a dietwith plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables (particularly leafygreens), and low-fat dairy. The findings underscore the importanceof the whole diet—rather than focusing on certain foodsor food groups that might be beneficial.

The researchers based the findings on 5011 adults participatingin a long-term heart-health study. The study included white,black, Hispanic, and Chinese-American men and women aged45 to 84. The results showed that participants whose diets werehighest in whole grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and low-fat dairywere 15% less prone to develop type 2 diabetes over 5 years,compared with the participants who ate the lowest amounts.The study was reported in Diabetes Care (September 2008).

F A S T F A C T: More than 9 million women have diabetes.

Intensive Diabetes Program Proves Beneficial

A weight-management program may help patients with type 2diabetes lose weight and keep it off, finds a new study reportedrecently in Obesity Management.

The 62 patients who participated in the 12-week Why WAIT(Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment) program kepttheir blood glucose under better control, reduced use of thediabetes medications and insulin, and reduced their cholesterollevels. After the program, weight loss averaged 23.5 lb, anda year later, the weight loss was 18.2 lb. For the participantstaking short-acting insulin, 21% were able to quit, whereas therest taking insulin therapy cut their dosage by more than half.Almost two-thirds of participants taking diabetes drugs, whichare associated with weight gain, stopped taking them, whereasthe rest of the patients lowered their dosage significantly.

Exercise Trims Fatty Liver in Diabetes Patients

A new study suggests that regular exercisenot only helps overweight individualswith type 2 diabetes slim down andbecome more physically fit, it also trimsharmful fat stores from in and around theliver. It is not uncommon for overweightor obese patients with type 2 diabetes tohave fatty livers.

For the study, 77 adults with the diseasewere assigned to supervised exerciseor no exercise for 6 months. Thegroup rode a bicycle, ran on a treadmill,or walked briskly for 45 minutes 3 times aweek. In addition, they lifted free weightsfor 20 minutes 3 times a week.

The control group avoided any formalaerobic fitness or gym classes.

Presenting the findings at the recentannual meeting of the American Associationof Cardiovascular and PulmonaryRehabilitation, the researchers reportedthat the exercise group had 40% less levelsof liver fat, compared with nonchanginglevels in the control group.