Friday, September 30, 2011

Do Some Diabetes Drugs Actually Help Your Heart?

September 30th, 2011

written by Michael O’Leary
While looking to find harmful effects of type 2 diabetes drugs on the heart and cardiovascular system, researchers were surprised to find that at least one class of these drugs appear to actually help prevent such effects.

As reported on by MedPage Today at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting last week in Lisbon, Portugal, the researchers found that the class of drugs, called gliptins, were associated with 30 percent reduction in the risk of a major heart-related event, such as a heart attack, compared to diabetes patients who were taking another drug or placebo.

In the wake of the development of heart-related side effects of a cancer drug, called Avandia, last year, the FDA required drug companies to assess the cardiovascular risks of some of the new diabetes drugs.  (Link to published site)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Telemedicine Is Cost Effective for Rural Stroke Patients

25 September 2011

Dr. Jana Wold, assistant professor of Neur-
ology consults with and emergency depart-
ment doctor at a rural hospital using the
telestroke technology. (Photo courtesy
University of Utah Health Care Stroke Center.)

might be a cost-effective solution for improving stroke patient treatment at rural hospitals that cannot employ a full-time neurologist, a new study shows.

Researchers at the University of Utah Health System in Salt Lake City, Utah in collaboration with researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, used a complex statistical model to compare the cost-effectiveness of stroke treatment using telestroke in rural emergency departments with stroke treatment provided in similar emergency departments without the 2-way audiovisual system. The study appears in the Sept. 20, 2011 journal Neurology. (Link to published site)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is Victoza Better Than Bydureon?

September 22nd, 2011 by Ryan Luce No Comments
written by Michael O’Leary
Daily injections of liraglutide (Victoza) nosed out once-a-week injections of exenatide (Bydureon) in a head-to-head comparison in terms of reducing HbA1c, but type 2 diabetes patients using exenatide experienced fewer, milder side effects.
The results of the clinical trial were presented last week at the 47th Annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes last week in Lisbon, Portugal and was reported on by MedPage Today. (Link to published site)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Takeda drug takes aim at obesity, type-2 diabetes link

September 21st, 2011
written by Michael O’Leary

Another first-in-class drug is wending its way through the clinical trials process aimed at winning FDA approval for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In early studies the drug, TAK-875, has been shown to lower HbA1c at rates similar to glimepiride (Amaryl).

TAK-875 is the first drug to reach clinical development that is aimed at blocking the GPR40 protein as a way to reduce insulin production.
(Link to published site)

Friday, September 16, 2011

MRI Breast Cancer Screening In High-Risk Women Boosts Detection Rates

Using MRI to screen women with a history of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) improved the rate of cancer detection, a pair of new studies show.

MRI shows known breast cancer on the left side of the image. The left breast (right side of the image) reveals a small occult cancer that was not clinically apparent or visible on the screening mammogram. (Image courtesy University of Washington Breast Center)
MRI shows known breast cancer on the left side of the image. The left breast (right side of the image) reveals a small occult cancer that was not clinically apparent or visible on the screening mammogram. (Image courtesy University of Washington Breast Center)
LCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer that requires no immediate or active treatment, according to the American Cancer Society; however having LCIS increases the risk that these women will later develop a malignant tumor. Consequently these women are closely followed with yearly mammograms and a clinical breast exams.

Adding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to screen for
breast cancer is controversial. A 2007 European review of
MRI with mammography for high-risk women found that
MRI improved sensitivity to as high as 94 percent, but specificity with MRI was less consistent with a 3-5-fold
higher risk of patient recall for false positive results. (Link to published site)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lexicon’s type 2 diabetes drug has multiple positive effects

Dr. Pablo Lapuerta, senior vice president
of clinical development and chief medical
officer, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals
September 15th, 2011 by Ryan Luce No Comments

Could one drug prevent type 2 diabetes in people at risk for the disease, lower blood glucose levels in those already diagnosed, while reducing triglycerides and suppressing appetite?

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, a Woodland, Texas drug maker says its new drug, LX4211 can do all of that based on early clinical trial results. The drug limits the action of sodium glucose transporters 1 and 2 (SGLT1 and SGLT2), which work to move glucose through certain cell membranes in the intestines. (Link to published site)

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Are Excess BMI Years?

September 12th, 2011 by Ryan Luce No Comments
written by Michael O’Leary
Much like smoking, the length of time people are overweight the greater their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study shows.
In the study, researchers found that in a group of 40-year-old adults with excess BMI-years (body mass index) of 200 years had three times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as similar adults with only 100 years of excess BMI.
Excess BMI-years is calculated by the number of points above BMI of 25 multiplied by the number of years the person maintained that BMI. For example a person with a BMI of 35 (10 points higher than healthy weight) for 20 years would be considered to have 200 years of excess BMI. A healthy BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9. (Link to published site)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do Almonds Help People With Diabetes Manage Their Blood Sugar?

September 9th, 2011 by Ryan Luce No Comments
written by Michael O’Leary
Blue Diamond May be A Diabetic’s Best Friend
Another nut study shows that people with type 2 diabetes might benefit from adding almonds to their daily menu.
The new study showed a dramatic 30 percent decrease in post-meal blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who ate one ounce of almonds as part of a test meal, while people without diabetes had only a non-significant 7 percent decrease.
The Arizona State University study published in the journal Metabolism this month also showed that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed almonds daily for 12 weeks achieved a 4 percent decrease in HbA1c and a 4 percent reduction in body mass index (BMI). (Link  to published site)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recent Publications

Electronic Health Records Produces Better Diabetes Care

Diabetes patients treated by pro-
viders using electronic health
records received better quality
of care and achieved better
intermediate outcomes than 
patients treated by providers
using paper medical charts.
(File photo)
People treated for diabetes by providers using electronic health records (EHRs) were significantly more likely to achieve outcomes in line with diabetes care standards than patients whose doctors relied on paper records.

The study published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the federal investment in electronic health records will likely produce benefits in both quality of care and better outcomes.

Led by Dr. Randall Cebul, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University, the study involved 27,207 adults with diabetes in the Cleveland area. (Link to published site)

Electronic Health Records Shown to Help Better Control Diabetes

Randall D. Cebul, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director, Better Health
Greater Cleveland
One factor diabetes patients probably don’t think about for achieving better overall outcomes and control of their A1c is whether or not their doctors use an electronic medical record system, but it might be something to think about.

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 70 percent of diabetes patients whose providers used electronic medical records achieved their A1c targets compared to 48 percent of those whose providers used paper medical charts.

The study led by Dr. Randall Cebul, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University, involved 27,206 people in Cuyahoga County, Ohio who made at least two visits to their care providers during a one-year period between July 2009 and June 2010. (Link to published site)

Friday, September 2, 2011

MRI May Predict Survival After Neoadjuvant Therapy for Rectal Cancer

MRI of rectal cancer may be used
to predict outcomes, new research
shows. (Image by permission of
Learn Colorectal Surgery.)
Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) researchers have shown for the first time that MR imaging can be used to assess neoadjuvant treatment response before surgery for rectal cancer. The researchers concluded that MRI may also be used to predict overall and disease-free survival in these patients.

The researchers led by Dr. Gina Brown, honorary senior lecturer in the Department of Radiology at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, UK, analyzed the results of a subgroup of the MERCURY trial to measure tumor shrinkage in 111 patients treated with chemotherapy, radiation or both before surgery. Brown told The Hub by e-mail that the difference in this study and previous research was that the radiologists in this study paid careful attention to circumferential resection margins (CRM) and fibrosis following treatment. (Link to published site)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What’s the Best Drug for Type 2 Diabetes? The Answer Isn’t Simple

September 1st, 2011 by Ryan Luce No Comments
Written by Michael O'Leary

With all the new FDA-approved drugs for type 2 diabetes lately, the question arises, is your current prescription the best for you? With names like Onglyza, Januvia, Byetta, Prandin, Tradjenta, metformin, Amaryl, it can be confusing even to know what to ask your doctor.
In a “best evidence review” published Aug. 30 in MedScape News, Dr. Charles Vega, associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, compares the effectiveness and safety of all the medications for type 2 including the newest ones being marketed. At least that’s what he wanted to do. (Link to published site)