Diabetes Watch

Pharmacy TimesMay 2010 Skin & Eye Health
Volume 76
Issue 5

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China’s Diabetes Rate Soars

According to a new report from the New England Journal of Medicine (March 25, 2010), more than 92 million adults in China have diabetes—more than any other country. In addition, nearly 150 million more Chinese individuals are on their way to developing the disease. It is evident that China’s rising economic growth is having an impact on its citizens’ health.

Jiang He, PhD, of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and colleagues in China focused on a nationally representative sample of more than 46,000 individuals who were tested for diabetes. The researchers estimate that roughly 50 million men and 42 million women have diabetes—almost 1 in 10 adults—based on their findings. The majority of cases remain undiagnosed.

Vivian Fonseca, MD, a diabetes expert from Tulane University who was not involved in the research, cites the larger calorie intake and less physical activity that usually come with improving economies as the source for the skyrocketing incidence of diabetes in many countries—including China and India.

Quitting Smoking Ups Diabetes Risk At First

A new study from Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that, in the short term, individuals who kick the smoking habit may actually increase their risk for developing diabetes (Annals of Internal Medicine, January 5, 2010). Individuals who stop smoking tend to gain weight, which can put them at higher risk for developing diabetes. Hsin-Chieh Yeh, PhD, and colleagues found that diabetes risk was greater in individuals who quit smoking, when compared with smokers—but only for a couple of years after quitting; diabetes risk decreased and was almost negligible after 10 years.

The researchers followed 10,900 middle-aged adults for 17 years—participants who quit smoking had a 70% higher risk of developing diabetes in the first 6 years after quitting. Smokers had a 30% increased diabetes risk. Researchers urged that patients should not be deterred from quitting smoking. Quitters need to watch their weight, and health care professionals who counsel them should offer lifestyle coaching, intensive weight management, and glucose level checks.

Common Sleep Disorder May Worsen Diabetes

The increasing severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common sleep disorder that affects 18 million individuals in the United States, negatively affects glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to an article published in the March 1, 2010, issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Renee S. Aronsohn, MD, and colleagues studied the impact of OSA on hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), the major clinical indicator of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Aronsohn and colleagues found, after reviewing data from 60 patients from outpatient clinics and controlling for various factors, that more severe OSA was associated with poorer glucose control. When compared with patients without OSA, the adjusted mean HbA1C in patients with mild, moderate, and severe OSA, was increased by 1.49%, 1.93%, and 3.69%, respectively, Dr. Aronsohn concluded, “Thus effective treatment of OSA may represent a novel and nonpharmacologic intervention in the management of type 2 diabetes.”

Higher Blood Sugar for Kids with Sleep Deprivation

Children who average 8 hours or less of sleep each night may have a higher risk for developing high blood sugar—a precursor to diabetes. Chinese and American scientists reported in the January 2010 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine that shorter sleep duration seemed to affect blood sugar, independent of other risk factors; the risk may be greater in obese children.

Among 619 obese and 617 nonobese Chinese children aged 3 to 6 years who were diabetes-free, high blood sugar levels (ie, 100 mg of glucose per deciliter of blood after fasting) were found to be 1.35-fold and 2.15-fold more likely in the nonobese and obese children, respectively, who slept less than 8 hours per night. Zhijie Yu, MD, PhD, MPH, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, concluded that getting enough sleep may help children “maintain a healthy body weight and an optimal (blood sugar) level.” â– 

FAST FACT: About 1 in every 400 to 600 children and adolescents has type 1 diabetes.

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For pharmacist-recommended diabetes products, go to www.OTCGuide.net.

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