Obesity will increase dementia rates in the U.K., study says | Increasing sleep apnea rates may be linked to obesity, study says | Focus obesity interventions on prediabetes, doctor says
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May 22, 2013
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Research transforming the study of diabetes and obesity

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Obesity will increase dementia rates in the U.K., study says
An analysis by the U.K. Health Forum and the European Congress on Obesity estimated that dementia rates could go from an estimated 5% of the over-65 population in the U.K. by 2050 to 7% because of increasing levels of obesity. "What is worrying is the fact that obesity levels are now rising alarmingly and are therefore liable to cause dementia levels to rise far beyond previous estimates," Tim Marsh of the U.K. Health Forum said. The Guardian (London) (5/11)
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Science & Research
Increasing sleep apnea rates may be linked to obesity, study says
A study of 1,520 people from Wisconsin found that heavier adults were more likely to have sleep apnea symptoms compared with their thinner peers. Researchers estimated that this could mean 4 million to 5 million people in the U.S. more likely will have sleep apnea because of obesity. The researchers, reporting in the American Journal of Epidemiology, said 80% to 90% of the recent increase in sleep apnea symptoms could be linked to increasing obesity rates. WebMD/HealthDay News (5/10)
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Focus obesity interventions on prediabetes, doctor says
Obesity interventions, including lifestyle modification, drugs and bariatric surgery, should focus on people with prediabetes, Dr. W. Timothy Garvey of the University of Alabama at Birmingham told Endocrine Today. He said study data support the efficacy of new drug and surgical interventions for weight loss and diabetes control, so a "rational and effective obesity treatment paradigm that targets resources to patients who are at highest risk will be cost-effective in preventing diabetes." Healio/Endocrine Today (5/8)
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Hormone discovery could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have identified a specific hormone that appears to help regulate how the body makes and metabolizes glucose, opening the door to new and better treatments for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Researchers discovered that switching off the aP2 hormone can lead to better control of glucose production from the liver, which is a critical factor in diabetes. MedicalXpress.com (5/7)
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Gut microbe may help reduce type 2 diabetes risk
Belgian researchers have found that the intestinal microbe Akkermansia muciniphila can help produce mucus that protects the lining of the gut, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders associated with obesity. The microbe also increased levels of molecules that control insulin sensitivity, inflammation and fat and energy metabolism. The study was published in PNAS. Medical News Today (5/15)
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Higher HbA1C rates seen in diabetes patients who sleep late
Type 2 diabetes patients who go to bed late and sleep in late showed higher BMI and HbA1C rates, had more depressive symptoms and were more likely to require insulin, a study in Diabetes Care indicated. Patients who sleep late also tend to eat more calories at dinner, which may lead to negative metabolic effects, researchers said. Medscape (free registration) (5/14)
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Vitamin D deficiency may pose risks in obese youths
Low vitamin D levels were linked to cardiometabolic risk metrics and onset of insulin resistance in morbidly obese adolescents, a study presented at the Pediatric Endocrine Society annual meeting showed. The results suggest vitamin D deficiency may be linked with poor glycemic control in such patients, researchers noted. MedPage Today (free registration) (5/6)
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Products & Innovation
Nanoparticles could provide relief for diabetes patients
Nanoparticles that secrete insulin as needed may someday relieve diabetes patients of the need to monitor their blood sugar. Researchers from North Carolina State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Children's Hospital found that the particles could be injected and effectively duplicate the function of pancreatic islet cells. "We've created a ‘smart’ system that is injected into the body and responds to changes in blood sugar by releasing insulin, effectively controlling blood-sugar levels," says Zhen Gu, an assistant professor of bioengineering at North Carolina State University. Time.com (5/8)
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Study finds obese patients benefit from LAP-BAND
A study in the journal Obesity showed the LAP-BAND adjustable gastric banding system helped boost excess weight loss and improve comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes in obese patients with a body mass index of 30 to 39.9. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (5/7)
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Other News
Trends & Technology
Researchers seek FDA approval for diabetes cell transplants
A consortium led by the University of Minnesota is preparing to seek FDA approval of a potential breakthrough treatment for type 1 diabetes that involves transplanting insulin-producing islet cells. Clinical studies have demonstrated that 60% to 70% of patients receiving the transplants may stay insulin-free after five years. Approximately 1.5 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, in which the body kills its own islet cells. The Denver Post/Minneapolis Star Tribune (5/14)
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TRI News
Poll: Recent studies have shown evidence of a link between obesity in middle-age populations and developing dementia. What is the most noteworthy finding to come out of this research? 
VoteObese people in their 40s and 50s have twice the average risk of getting dementia in their 70s
VoteA major spike in obese dementia patients could be seen as early as 2050
VoteA theory suggests the link is caused when proteins released by fatty tissue travel through the bloodstream and affect cells
Poll: Researchers who conducted a recent study in the U.K. have identified four new genetic markers for severe childhood obesity. What is the most intriguing development?
Genetic factors in childhood obesity that are different from those in adult obesity may require separate forms of treatment  100.00%
The promise that these genetic variants in severe cases of childhood obesity hold for more common forms of weight gain  0.00%
The possibility of even more genetic variants related to childhood obesity that have yet to be discovered  0.00%
The variability of how these genes interact with other factors, including lifestyle behaviors  0.00%
Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
-- René Descartes,
French mathematician and philosopher
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