Study: A1C level linked to survival in heart patients with diabetes | Maternal weight, blood glucose levels may affect newborns | Chemicals in cosmetics, plastics connected to diabetes risk
April 13, 2012
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Diabetes in Focus
Study: A1C level linked to survival in heart patients with diabetes
An observational study in the American Journal of Cardiology showed patients with both advanced heart failure and diabetes whose glycated hemoglobin levels were higher than 8.6% had a 65.3% two-year survival rate, compared with 47.9% in those with A1C levels lower than 6.4%. The results suggest that patients with both conditions should aim for A1C levels between 7.2% and 8.2%, researchers said. However, patients who are not having problems with hypoglycemia or adverse medication effects should follow current guidelines pending further research, said one expert, who was not involved with the research. Medscape (free registration) (4/12)
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Maternal weight, blood glucose levels may affect newborns
Data from the 2008 Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome study show that even slightly elevated blood glucose levels and weight during pregnancy can increase babies' birth weight and insulin levels. The risk for greater birth weight was higher in slightly overweight women with moderately higher blood glucose levels than for obese women with normal blood glucose or for normal-weight women with gestational diabetes, researchers said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Health Blog (4/12)
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Chemicals in cosmetics, plastics connected to diabetes risk
Metabolites from four phthalates commonly used in plastics and personal care products were found in at least 96% of diabetes patients examined and are associated with a 25% to 30% increased risk of diabetes, a study in Diabetes Care found. Researchers said the metabolites might inhibit the biological pathways that regulate glucose metabolism. Medscape (free registration) (4/12)
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Scientist target glucagon pathway for treating type 2 diabetes
Inhibiting the CaMKII enzyme glucagon pathway helped lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, prevent fatty liver deposits and boost insulin sensitivity without adverse effects in obese mice with type 2 diabetes, a study in Cell Metabolism showed. "When you eat a meal and your sugar goes up, glucagon and glucose should switch off, but that doesn't happen in type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Vivian Fonseca, president for medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association. HealthDay News (4/12)
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Nutrition & Wellness
Obesity in pregnant women may cause fetal oxygen deprivation
Obesity in expectant mothers was linked to poor blood vessel development and fetal oxygen deprivation in a study of obese rats fed a high-fat diet from birth, according to a study in PLoS ONE. Maternal obesity is linked to higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, under- or overweight babies, and children with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and spina bifida. The findings may aid in drug development meant to improve health outcomes in obese mothers, researchers said. National Post (Canada) (4/12)
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Raise public health spending to $24B, IOM report says
An Institute of Medicine report says the U.S. should more than double federal spending on public health to $24 billion a year and create a minimum set of services each community should get from public health departments. The report suggests a tax on medical care to help cover the extra spending but adds that health costs would decline over time due to lower obesity rates and less use of tobacco. The Hill/Healthwatch blog (4/10)
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Practice Update
CMS taps 7 states to pilot primary care services program
The CMS Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation will use seven states to pilot the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative. The agency will tap some 75 primary care practices in every market to help assess whether comprehensive primary care services along with health IT meaningful use, data analytics and payment reform can improve health and lower costs. Health Data Management (4/11)
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Trends & Technology
Insurer introduces bilingual website for Latinos
UnitedHealthcare introduced a bilingual mobile website meant to provide health and wellness information to Latinos. The website allows people to view pages in English or Spanish and gives health tips and podcasts in both languages. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (4/12)
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ONC aims to bolster patient safety with innovation challenge
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has issued a call for a patient safety reporting application that leverages nationwide health information network services and standards, allows access to electronic patient data and makes reporting events easier. The contest, which will run through July 23, offers a $50,000 first prize, as well as $15,000 and $5,000 prizes. Government Health IT online (4/11)
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ADA News
Free resource from the American Diabetes Association
The Where Do I Begin? booklet is the first step to helping your patients get the information they need at diagnosis. Order free copies of Where Do I Begin? and give this great resource to your newly diagnosed patients. Encourage them to take the next step and enroll in the free program to get ongoing information and support over their first year living with type 2 diabetes. To order your free copies, visit
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Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail."
-- Charles F. Kettering,
American inventor
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