Higher mortality rates persist among diabetes patients, study finds | Adult stem cells show potential in diabetes wounds | FDA reviews new diabetes drugs to assess cancer risk
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March 15, 2013
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News for diabetes health professionals

Diabetes in Focus
Higher mortality rates persist among diabetes patients, study finds
Researchers found what they termed a "non-significant increase in mortality over time," among patients with prediabetes and diabetes, even as death rates for those without the conditions dropped. The study compared two groups of patients, one from 1988 to 1994, the other from 1999 to 2002. The mortality rate of patients with prediabetes grew from 11.19 to 14.02 deaths per 1,000 person-years, while the rate among diabetes patients grew from 20.34 to 20.82, according to a study in Population Health Metrics. Death rates among people without either condition fell over the same period, from 7.81 to 6.04. DailyRx.com (3/14)
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Adult stem cells show potential in diabetes wounds
Using adult stem cells to treat diabetic foot wounds has "generated some very promising findings," according to researchers at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in a study published in Diabetes. Scientists found that mesenchymal stem cells, when used with a biomaterial made from collagen, could boost wound healing and help prevent amputations. The Journal (Dublin, Ireland) (3/13)
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FDA reviews new diabetes drugs to assess cancer risk
Recently approved diabetes drugs -- including Merck & Co.'s Januvia and Janumet, Novo Nordisk's Victoza and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Byetta and Bydureon -- are under FDA scrutiny as pancreatic tissue samples in patients who took the medications showed inflammation and cellular changes associated with cancer onset. "FDA has not concluded these drugs may cause or contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer. At this time, patients should continue to take their medicine as directed until they talk to their health care professional," the agency said. The Monterey County Herald (Calif.)/The Associated Press (3/14), The Wall Street Journal (3/15)
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Nutrition & Wellness
Home-based exercise program boosts health in seniors
Adults age 65 and older who participated in an at-home, DVD-based exercise program showed better health outcomes at six months compared with those in the control group, researchers reported in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. RedOrbit (3/12), Examiner.com (3/12)
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Practice Update
Study: Physician gender does not affect patients' costs, death risk
Physician gender does not appear to affect patients' medical costs and mortality risk, researchers at the University of California, Davis, Health System found. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, suggest there is no need to differentially train or employ physicians of either gender to lower death risk and health care costs, researchers said. Previous studies had indicated female physicians' communication styles might lower patient costs. Modern Physician (free registration) (3/14)
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CMS answers 3 EHR MU questions
CMS recently published answers to three frequently asked questions regarding the status of certified EHR systems in certain scenarios. One question highlights the importance of having accurate meaningful use denominators when integrating MU data from several locations. Health Data Management (3/12)
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Trends & Technology
Report: E-prescribing helps docs prescribe less expensive drugs
A study from research firm Decision Resources showed that endocrinologists and primary care doctors use e-prescribing tools for 76% of Medicare patients and 79% of other patients. The study suggests that doctors who have electronic access to information about patients' formularies focus more on costs when prescribing. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (3/14)
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Poll: Majority support federal rules for healthy school meals
The majority of Americans surveyed in a recent Gallup poll said they support federal regulations that define nutritional standards for school meals. There also is some support for limiting foods sold in school vending machines, snack bars and bake sales, but few respondents said they would back policies forbidding students to bring packed lunches to school. Overall, most Americans said federal regulations for school meals would be somewhat helpful in reducing childhood obesity. Gallup.com (3/12)
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Adventure is not outside man; it is within."
-- George Eliot,
British writer
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