Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Diabetes, NYU, Sleep Disorders / 09.07.2016 Interview with: Mr. Lloyd Gyamfi and Azizi Seixas, Ph.D. Post-Doc Fellow Department of Population Health Center for Healthful Behavior Change NYU School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: An association exists between unhealthy sleep duration (short:≤6 hrs. or long sleep: ≥ 9hrs.) and cancer. The specific link between cancer and diabetes is unknown. Evidence suggests that cancer and diabetes may share common risk factors such as age, gender, race, being overweight an alcohol use. Based on the data extracted from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) dataset (2004-2013) with a sample size of 283,086, it was identified that individuals who had a history of cancer and who reported long sleep duration did not have increased risk of diabetes diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA / 09.07.2016 Interview with: Edward Gregg, PhD Chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch Division of Diabetes Translation National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The research was led by the lead author, Karen R. Siegel, PhD, as part of her PhD graduate studies at Emory for her dissertation. Although subsidized foods are intended to ensure adequate availability of storable, staple foods, studies at the population level have linked these subsidies to risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. This study is the first of its kind to examine these relationships at the individual level – specifically, the relationship between diets made up of more subsidized foods, and an individual’s personal risks for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The study design that was used here does not allow us to say that these subsidized foods specifically cause type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Rather, people whose diets contain more corn, soybean, wheat, rice, sorghum, dairy, and livestock products are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to this research, people whose diets contained more subsidized foods were on average younger, less physically active and more likely to be smokers. They also had much less income, education and food security - or the ability to get enough safe and healthy food to meet their dietary needs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, UT Southwestern / 05.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Eunhee Choi Research scientist in the Yu laboratory and lead author of the study UT SouthWestern Dr. Hongtao Yu, Professor of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern and Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diabetes is a metabolic disease. High blood sugar is a common symptom of diabetes, and over time it can lead to serious damage to multiple organs. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, regulates blood sugar. Diabetes can occur either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when the cells in our body cannot efficiently respond to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Diabetes is now a major global epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 400 million people worldwide have diabetes. Insulin binds the insulin receptor (IR) at the cell surface. The insulin-bound IR can send signals inside the cell and instruct the cell to take up sugar from the blood, thus maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. After insulin has done its job, insulin-bound IR is packaged into small vesicles with a protein coat and dragged into the cell, thus terminating the signals. An adequate level of IR on the cell surface is crucial for insulin signaling and blood sugar metabolism. We have found a new mechanism that keeps IR at the cell surface. Without such a mechanism, IR is prematurely dragged inside the cell before it encounters insulin. Our discovery is quite unexpected. A main interest of our lab is to study the molecular control of cell division. During each cell division, the duplicated sister chromosomes are evenly separated into two daughter cells. A cellular surveillance system called the spindle checkpoint ensures the accuracy of sister-chromosome separation. Three checkpoint proteins, p31comet, MAD2 and BUBR1, are critical for accurate chromosome segregation. In the process of studying this checkpoint, we have unexpectedly discovered that mice lacking p31comet in the liver develop diabetes. Liver cells lacking p31comet do not have IR on the cell surface, and thus cannot respond to insulin. We have further shown that MAD2 directly binds to IR, and along with BUBR1, helps to drag IR inside the cell. p31comet prevents BUBR1 from interacting with IR-bound MAD2, thus keeping IR at the cell surface. In cells lacking p31comet, MAD2 and BUBR1 gain the upper hand and remove IR from the cell surface. Thus, the dynamic tug-of-war between p31comet and MAD2-BUBR1 determines the status of IR at the cell surface. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Technology / 05.07.2016 Interview with: Dr Hood Thabit and Co-author: Dr Roman Hovorka University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Type 1 diabetes is an insulin-deficient condition, therefore people with type 1 diabetes need to be on life-long insulin therapy to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Currently insulin is delivered either by injections (with an insulin pen) or by infusion (with an insulin pump). In addition, they have to monitor their blood glucose regularly by performing fingerprick measurements several times a day, to avoid over- or under-dosing with insulin. Hypoglycaemia, or low blood glucose, can occur as a result of giving too much insulin; if severe or prolonged can lead to the patient being unconscious and in some cases sudden death. Hyperglycaemia, or high blood glucose, can occur as a result of giving too little insulin, and chronic hyperglycaemia can lead to diabetes related complications such as blindness, kidney failure and heart disease. Maintaining blood glucose within a normal range poses a daily challenge and struggle for many people with type 1 diabetes, who have to juggle with the variability and unpredictability of their glucose levels and insulin requirements due to meals, physical activity and stress. People with type 1 diabetes have on average 3 episodes of severe hypoglycaemia per year which requires third party assistance and sometimes hospitalisation. In the UK, the average HbA1c for people with type 1 diabetes is around 8.5% (69mmol/mol), which puts them at risk of diabetes complications and developing significant disability affecting their lives. There is therefore an unmet need of a novel therapeutic approach to be able to automatically modulate and change the amount of insulin delivered, based on real-time glucose levels. The artificial pancreas, or closed-loop insulin delivery, is an emerging technology which couples real-time sensor glucose levels with insulin delivery under the direction of a control algorithm, and automatically steps-up insulin delivery when glucose levels are going up, and reduces or suspends insulin delivery when glucose levels are going down. The longest home study to date was recently performed by researchers at the University of Cambridge and showed that compared to best available therapy, the artificial pancreas significantly improved long-term glucose control (HbA1c) and reduces the risk of hypoglycaemia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gender Differences, JCEM, Sleep Disorders / 04.07.2016 Interview with: Dr. Femke Rutters Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands; EMGO+ Institute for Care Research What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the past 10 years the interest in sleep as a possible cause for obesity/diabetes has risen. But data up until now used mainly self-reported sleep and simple measures of diabetes (related parameters), such as fasting glucose. A study on well-measured insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function was lacking. Such a study could provide more information on the pathophysiology. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Diabetes / 27.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Judith Schwartzbaum PhD Associate professor of epidemiology Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center What is the background for this study? Response: Meningioma is a slow-growing brain tumor that is associated with obesity. To further understand this risk we examined records of blood sugar levels within approximately 15 years before tumor diagnosis comparing blood sugar levels of people who developed meningioma to those in people who did not. are the main findings? Response: To our surprise we found that risk of this tumor was lower in people with high levels of blood sugar and diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 27.06.2016 Interview with: Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center Department of Epidemiology Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine New Orleans, LA 70112 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prenatal malnutrition and other stresses may cause small newborn babies, who are more likely develop type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases during adulthood. However, whether such relation is causal remains to be determined. Genetic associations provide a new approach to provide evidence for such causality. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Pharmacology / 22.06.2016 Interview with: Kenneth Cusi, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E. Professor of Medicine VAMC staff Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism The University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32610-0226 What is the background for this study? Dr. Cusi: Many patients with prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) are not diagnosed with Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a disease that is the second cause of liver transplantation in the United States. It is also associated with worse cardiovascular disease and harder to control T2DM. We had done in this population a proof-of-concept study published in Nov 2006 in the NEJM. But we lacked a larger, long-term study for definitive proof. This is the largest SINGLE center study, and the longest ever (3 years). NASH is an overlooked problem for perhaps as many as one-third of patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. There is now a safe and effective treatment option for patients with T2DM and NASH – pioglitazone will become for NASH what metformin is to the treatment of T2DM: a safe, effective, the “backbone therapy" to which other treatments will be added. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, University of Pittsburgh / 21.06.2016 Interview with: Dr-Andrea-M-KriskaDr. Andrea M. Kriska PhD MS Professor, Department of Epidemiology Graduate School of Public Health Pittsburgh, PA 15261 What is the background for this study? Dr. Kriska:  The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a well administered national research study primarily supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK) that demonstrated that lifestyle intervention with weight loss and physical activity goals can prevent type 2 diabetes in diverse, high risk US adults. The importance of physical activity in preventing diabetes development in the DPP until now was thought to be due to its role in achieving weight loss and weight maintenance but activity was not considered a strong key factor alone. The lifestyle group had a significantly greater increase in physical activity and decrease in weight than the other two groups. They also had a 58% decrease in diabetes incidence compared to the control group. The successful decrease in T2D held across all age, sex, baseline BMI and ethnicity/race subgroups. Despite the fact that the lifestyle intervention was then offered to all participants, in the follow-up years, the lifestyle participants still maintained a lower cumulative diabetes incidence that could not be explained by differences in weight loss. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, CT Scanning, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 17.06.2016 Interview with: Prof. David A. Halon MB ChB, FACC, FESC Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Director, Interventional Cardiology Lady Davis Carmel Medical Center Haifa, Israel What is the background for this study? Prof. Halon: Type 2 diabetics are well known to have more cardiovascular events than non-diabetics but even among diabetics this risk is heterogeneous and some remain at very low risk. It remains uncertain if additional diagnostic modalities over and above clinical risk scores may be helpful in defining which diabetics are at high risk for an adverse event. We performed a study using cardiac CT angiography (CCTA) in 630 type 2 diabetics 55-74 years of age with no history of coronary artery disease to examine if CTA findings would have additional prognostic value over traditional risk scores for cardiovascular or microvascular based events over 7.5 years of follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pharmacology / 15.06.2016 Interview with: Professor Philip Home D.M., D.Phil Professor of Diabetes Medicine Newcastle University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Home: MK1293 is a biosimilar insulin designed with the same amino acid sequence, manufacturing process and formulation as originator insulin glargine (Lantus). This is the clinical proving study in type 1 diabetes, being a 24-week randomized study in 508 participants between MK1293 and Lantus. The primary efficacy endpoint of non-inferiority of HbA1c was met, as was a secondary of equivalence (difference in change from baseline 0.04 (95% CI -0.11, 0.19) %-units), with other measures including hypoglycaemia, insulin antibodies and adverse events also consistent with similarity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Nutrition, PLoS / 15.06.2016 Interview with: Ambika Satija Departments of Nutrition & Epidemiology Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we followed more than 200,000 male and female health professionals across the U.S. for more than 20 years who had regularly filled out questionnaires on their diet, lifestyle, medical history, and new disease diagnoses as part of three large long-term studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Pharmacology / 13.06.2016 Interview with: Doctor Hiddo Lambers Heerspink Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology University Medical Center Groningen the Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: SGLT2 inhibitors, including canagliflozin, have beneficial effects on multiple cardiovascular and renal risk parameters. This suggests that SGLT2 inhibitors may confer cardiovascular and renal protection. A recent large clinical trial with the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin demonstrated marked reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and suggested possible renoprotective effects. Whether SGLT2 inhibition slows the progression of kidney function decline independent of its glucose-lowering effect, however, is unknown. We therefore assessed whether canagliflozin slows the progression of kidney function decline by comparing the effects of canagliflozin versus glimepiride on eGFR and albuminuria. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Frailty, JAMA, Mayo Clinic / 07.06.2016 Interview with: Rozalina McCoy, M.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine Department of Medicine Mayo Clinic Rochester What is the background for this study? Dr. McCoy: Hypoglycemia is a serious potential complication of diabetes treatment; it worsens quality of life and has been associated with cardiovascular events, dementia, and even death. Most professional societies recommend targeting HbA1C levels less than 6.5% or 7%, with individualized treatment targets based on patient age, other medical conditions, and risk of hypoglycemia with therapy. Treating patients to very low HbA1c levels is not likely to improve their health, especially not in the short-term, but can cause serious harms such as hypoglycemia. The goal of our study was to assess how frequently patients with type 2 diabetes are treated intensively, focusing specifically on patients who are elderly or have serious chronic conditions such as dementia, kidney disease including dialysis need, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and cancer. Moreover, while prior studies have suggested that intensive treatment may be common, there was no strong evidence that intensive treatment does in fact increase risk of hypoglycemia. Our study was designed specifically to assess this risk. We examined medical claims, pharmacy fill data, and laboratory results of 31,542 adults with stable and controlled type 2 diabetes who were included in the OptumLabs™ Data Warehouse between 2001 and 2013. None of the patients were treated with insulin or had prior episodes of severe hypoglycemia, both known risk factors for future hypoglycemic events. None of the patients had obvious indications for very tight glycemic control, such as pregnancy. “Intensive treatment” was defined as being treated with more glucose-lowering medications than clinical guidelines consider to be necessary given their HbA1C level. Patients whose HbA1C was less than 5.6 percent (diabetes is defined by HbA1C 6.5 percent or higher) were considered intensively treated if they were taking any medications. Patients with HbA1C in the “pre-diabetes” range, 5.7-6.4 percent, were considered to be intensively treated if using two or more medications at the time of the test, or if started on additional medications after the test, because current guidelines consider patients with HbA1C less than 6.5 percent to already be optimally controlled. For patients with HbA1C of 6.5-6.9 percent the sole criteria for intensive treatment was treatment intensification with two or more drugs or insulin. The patients were separated by whether they were considered clinically complex (based on the definition by the American Geriatrics Society)—75 years of age or older; or having end-stage kidney disease, dementia; or with three or more serious chronic conditions. This distinction has been made to help identify patients for whom adding glucose-lowering medications is more likely to lead to treatment-related adverse events, including hypoglycemia, while not providing substantial long-term benefit. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections, Surgical Research / 04.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Mary Forhan OT Reg (Alberta), PhD, Assistant Professor ad Dr. Tasuku Terada, post-doctoral research fellow Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine University of Alberta What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of obesity has increased. Notably, a proportion of severe obesity (body mass index: body weight [kg] divided by height squared [m2]: >40kg/m2) has shown the most significant increase. Greater body mass increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and referrals for coronary artery graft surgery (CABG) have increased in patients with severe obesity. Interestingly, while obesity is often considered to increase the risk of complications and associated health care costs, many studies have reported better prognosis in patients with obesity compared to patients with normal weight, a phenomenon referred to as the obesity paradox. Therefore, it was not clear if patients with severe obesity were at higher risk of complications and contributed to greater resource use. A better understanding of the relationship between obesity and post-surgical adverse outcomes was needed to provide quality and efficient care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, FASEB / 03.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Soo Jung Park, Ph.D. Senior Scientist Division of Bioconvergence Korea Basic Science Institute in Seoul, South Korea What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diabetes is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The elevated level of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) can induce the cell death of the pancreatic beta cells which are responsible for the production of insulin. Loss of β-cell number and function underlies much of the pathology of diabetes. However, the mechanism is not fully understood, and we found the novel regulator for hyperglycemia induced beta cell death. What should readers take away from your report? Response: TSPAN2 protein levels dramatically increased in response to high glucose. High TSPAN2 levels upregulated phosphorylated-JNK (p-JNK) and induced apoptosis. p-JNK enhanced the phosphorylation of β-catenin (p-β-catenin) and Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1). Dkk1 knockdown by siRNA upregulated nuclear β-catenin, suggesting that it is a JNK/β-catenin-dependent pathway. siRNA-mediated TSPAN2 depletion in RNAKT-15 cells increased nuclear β-catenin. This decreased Bax activation, leading to marked protection against high glucose-induced apoptosis. Bax subfamily proteins induced apoptosis through caspase-3. Thus, TSPAN2 might have induced Bax translocation and caspase-3 activation in pancreatic β cells, thereby promoting the apoptosis of RNAKT 15 cells by regulating the JNK/β-catenin pathway in response to high glucose concentrations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 01.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Nina Berentzen PhD National Institute for Public Health and the Environment Bilthoven, the Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Berentzen: Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes often occur together and share risk factors including an unhealthy diet, a lack of physical activity, and being overweight or obese. This study is the first to investigate the occurrence of both diabetes and CVD across two generations of parents and grandparents, and relate it to measurable risk factors in children. We found that one third of the 12-year-olds studied had a strong family history of one or both of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction and stroke) and type 2 diabetes. Children had a ‘strong family history’ if they had one affected parent, or at least one grandparent with early disease onset, or 3–4 grandparents with late disease onset. These children had higher levels of total cholesterol, and a higher ratio of total/HDL cholesterol than children with no family history of disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Environmental Risks, Lipids / 27.05.2016 Interview with: Maayan Yitshak Sade MPH Chief Scientific Officer Clinical Research Center, Soroka University Medical Center, Israel and   Victor Novack, MD, PhD Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel What is the background for this study? Response: Numerous studies found association between exposure the air pollution and increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In recent years links were found between air pollution and diabetes as well. The scientific evidence supports a causal association between air pollution and oxidative stress, possibly involving impaired metabolism of glucose and lipids. In a recent study performed by our group, we observed a significantly increased risk for ischemic stroke among young adults, associated with air pollution exposure. Following these findings, and as a part of the possible theory linking the association air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, we sought to investigate if this association might be mediated through the well-established cardiovascular risk factors such as abnormal lipid and glucose metabolism. (more…)
Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 26.05.2016 Interview with: Jennifer L. Kuk, PhD Associate Professor York University School of Kinesiology and Health Science Toronto, Ontario What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kuk: Artificial sweeteners are used to help individuals manage their weight, however, individuals who consume aspartame (a type of artificial sweeteners) have worse glucose metabolism than individuals with the same body weight but do not consume aspartame. This observation was only true for adults with obesity. Further, saccharin and natural sugars were not associated with differences in health after considering differences in obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Weight Research / 24.05.2016 Interview with: Prof-Dr. Annette Schürmann Department of Experimental Diabetology German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke Nuthetal, Germany What is the background for this study? Dr. Schürmann: The aim of our study was to clarify why genetically identical mice respond very different to a high fat diet. Some of the mice react with an elevated body weight, others not. We analyzed the expression pattern of liver at two time points, at the age of 6 weeks, (the earliest time point to distinguish between those that respond to the diet (responder mice) and those that did not (non-responders)), and at the age of 20 weeks. One transcript that was significantly reduced in the liver of responder mice at both time points was Igfbp2. The reason for the reduced expression was an elevated DNA-methylation at a position that is conserved in the mouse and human sequence. The elevated DNA-methylation of this specific site in human was recently described to associate with elevated fat storage (hepatosteatosis) and NASH. However, as 6 weeks old mice did not show differences in liver fat content between responder and non-responder mice we conclude that the alteration of Igfbp2 expression and DNA methylation occurs before the development of fatty liver. Our data furthermore showed that the epigenetic inhibition of Igfbp2 expression was associated with elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance but not with fatty liver. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Environmental Risks / 19.05.2016 Interview with: Kathryn Reid PhD Research associate Professor of Neurology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Reid: There is increasing evidence that light and dark exposure patterns over time impact health outcomes such as body weight and food intake. This study found that bright light exposure increased insulin resistance compared to dim light exposure in both the morning and the evening. In the evening, bright light also caused higher peak glucose (blood sugar) levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Exercise - Fitness / 17.05.2016 Interview with: Dr Lisa Chow MD MS University of Minnesota, Minnesota, MI What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Chow: A number of previous studies have shown people who maintain or increase their cardiac fitness (CRF) through adulthood have a lower risk of developing diabetes, abnormal metabolic measures, cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular mortality than those whose CRF declines. However, these previous studies are limited for several reasons, including use of a largely male population, measurement of fitness over a limited duration (5–7 years) or measurement of fitness at varying intervals prospectively. In this new research, the authors used data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study to objectively and rigorously analyse the link between cardiac fitness and development of either prediabetes or diabetes over a 20-year period. The main finding is that higher cardiac fitness  is associated with lower risk for developing prediabetes and diabetes, even when adjusting for prospective changes in body mass index. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes, Genetic Research / 08.05.2016 Interview with: Wenpeng You, PhD student Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit University of Adelaide | School of Medicine Adelaide, Australia  Maciej Henneberg, PhD, DSc, FAIBiol Wood Jones Professor of Anthropological and Comparative Anatomy University of Adelaide School of Medicine; Institute for Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich Editor in Chief, Journal of Comparative Human Biology HOMO What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Type 1 diabetes disease has very strong genetic background. Prevalence of type 1 diabetes has been increasing globally. Previous studies focusing on regional genetics and environmental factors cannot fully explain this phenomenon. Due to insufficient medical knowledge up until early 20th century, people with type 1 diabetes disease would most commonly die during their teens or early 20s. Therefore, they did not have the opportunity to pass on their genes providing background for the development of type 1 diabetes to their next generations. Since discovery and introduction of insulin to modern medicine in early 1920s, more and more type 1 diabetes patients have been able to survive their reproduction cycle (up until and past 50 years of age). This has made more and more genes related to type 1 diabetes to accumulate in human populations. We applied the Biological State Index which measures a probability to pass genes on to the next generation at population level.  We found that the rapid increase in type 1 diabetes over the last few decades was correlated with increases of the Biological State Index and its proxy, human life expectancy, especially in more developed world in which natural selection has been relaxed most. This correlation was found after statistically excluding differences in countries income, levels of urbanization, sugar consumption and obesity prevalence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pharmacology / 21.04.2016 Interview with: Pedro L. Herrera, PhD Professor Dept. Genetic Medicine & Development, room #F09.2770 Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Herrera: After meals, the digestion of food leads to an accumulation of sugar (glucose) in the blood (hyperglycemia). This triggers the release of the hormone insulin from the pancreas (beta-cells), which allows the tissues (liver, muscle and fat) to use and store it. Another pancreatic hormone, glucagon, is released by alpha-cells during fasting or exercising, and opposes the action of insulin: it tells the liver to release glucose, which increases blood sugar levels. The balance between insulin and glucagon keeps blood sugar levels steady. Persistent hyperglycemia due to insulin deficiency is diabetes. Glucagon production is exacerbated in diabetes, which aggravates hyperglycemia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, University Texas, Weight Research / 21.04.2016 Interview with: Antonio Saad, MD Fellow in Maternal Fetal Medicine & Critical Care Medicine University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Saad: Recently the WHO announced an alarming news, the prevalence of diabetes has increased four fold in the past quarter-century. The major factors attributed for this increase included excessive weight, and obesity. In the US alone, two thirds of people are either overweight or obese. There are shocking numbers that should alert physicians, patients and government officials for awareness and interventions that we can alter the path away from this drastic epidemic. In light of recent events, our group strongly believes that poor diet during pregnancy predisposes offspring in adult life to develop obesity and diabetes through fetal programming. High fructose introduction into our food chain has coincided with the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Hence, we designed an animal study where we fed pregnant mice with either regular diet or high fructose diet until delivery. Then we looked at the offspring, at 12 months of age. We looked at  their blood pressure, glucose tolerance tests, insulin resistance,  and weights. We also tested for serum marker of metabolic dysfunction and used computed tomography imaging to assess for liver fat infiltration and percent visceral adipose tissue. To our surprise, these offspring (mothers were fed high fructose diet) developed several features of metabolic syndrome.  Female offspring’s cardiovascular and metabolic function at one year of age (adulthood) had increased weight, blood pressure, visceral adiposity, liver fat infiltrates and  insulin resistance with impaired glucose tolerance).  The  male counterparts were limited to high blood pressure  and glucose intolerance. Keeping in mind that the amount of fructose given to these animals were equivalent to daily soda cans consumption in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.04.2016 Interview with: Annemarie G. Hirsch, PhD, MPH Center for Health Research Geisinger Health System Danville, Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment in reversing insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the likelihood of remission or cure after surgery varies tremendously based on certain patient characteristics. The DiaRem score provides patients with a personalized prediction of whether or not they can expect long-term remission of their disease if they choose to have surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 20.04.2016 Interview with: Paddy Dempsey MPhEd, PhD in Medicine (expected June 2016) Physical Physical Activity and Behavioural Epidemiology Laboratory Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Melbourne VIC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In addition to too little physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior – defined as any waking sitting or reclining behavior with low energy expenditure – has emerged as a ubiquitous and significant population-wide influence on cardiometabolic health outcomes, with potentially distinct and modifiable environmental and social determinants. There is now a consistent base of epidemiologic evidence reporting deleterious associations of excessive sedentary behaviors (e.g. TV viewing, car use, and desk work) with mortality and cardiometabolic morbidity, independent of moderate-vigorous PA. To date, efforts to influence participation in moderate-to-vigorous exercise (i.e. 30 min a day of ‘exercise’ on most days a week for health) at the population level, such as through large-scale campaigns to promote walking, and other initiatives to encourage people to exercise during their leisure time have achieved only modest success. There may, however, be untapped preventive-health and clinical management potential through shifting the high volume of time spent sedentary to light-intensity physical activity interspersed throughout the day. As such, sedentary behavior represents a potentially feasible and therapeutic target, particularly in the promotion of metabolic health. We posited that people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) were likely to derive the greatest benefits from interrupting their sitting time. However, until now the contributions of prolonged sitting and/or interrupting prolonged sitting with very-brief bouts of light-intensity PA had never been experimentally tested in patients with T2D. Moreover, this study for the first time moved beyond interrupting sitting with standing or ambulatory bouts (although walking bouts were also examined), which may have differing levels of metabolic stimulus (i.e. not physiologically taxing the body enough), practicality, or health efficacy, to examine a potential addition/alternative: simple resistance activities (SRA). A key premise behind these SRA bouts (half-squats, calf raises, gluteal contractions, and knee raises) were that they required no specialized equipment, only small amounts of space, and could be easily performed in a fixed position behind a work desk or at home with minimal disruption to work tasks or leisure pursuits. In addition, they also markedly increase muscle activity, and may also have other longer-term benefits (for example physical function, muscle strength, bone density), however we can only speculate on these aspects at present. In this study in men and women with type 2 diabetes, plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide (marker of insulin secretion and pancreatic beta cell function) levels following standardized breakfast and lunch meals were all markedly attenuated when prolonged sitting was regularly interrupted with light walking or resistance activities (3 min every 30 min) over an 8 hour day. Plasma triglyceride levels were also reduced for both types of activity bout; however, the reduction was only significant for the SRAs. Interestingly, the magnitude of glucose reduction for the walking bouts was greater in women for glucose levels. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, NIH, Nutrition, OBGYNE / 20.04.2016 Interview with: Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator, Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health Rockville, MD 20852 What is the background for this study? Dr. Zhang: Hypertension is one of the most prevalent and preventable risk factors for cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. We have previously reported that the cumulative incidence of hypertension for women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) was 26% higher than those who did not have GDM even 16 years after the index pregnancy. Thus, women with a history of GDM represent a high-risk population for hypertension that could benefit from early prevention. While there is extensive literature on how lifestyle factors may influence blood pressure in the general population, no information is currently available on the role of diet and lifestyle in the development of hypertension specifically in this susceptible population. To address these gaps, we prospectively examined the associations between long-term adherence to three healthy diets with subsequent risk of hypertension among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus, specifically the DASH diet, the alternative Mediterranean diet (aMED), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease / 17.04.2016 Interview with: Axel C. Carlsson, PhD Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Epidemiology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University Uppsala Sweden What is the background for this study? Dr. Carlsson: Circulating endostatin levels has been shown to be associated with duration of hypertension and cardiovascular events. Moreover, endostatin levels were recently shown to parallel kidney function decline, and has been associated with increased mortality risk in different settings. However, less is known of circulating endostatin in patients with type 2 diabetes.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, UCSD / 12.04.2016 Interview with: Britta Larsen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Family Medicine & Public Health University of California, San Diego Medical Teaching Facility La Jolla, CA 92093-0628 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Larsen: We know that muscle is important for metabolic processes, but there has been very little research on the role muscle may play in the development of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. While excess fat can increase the risk of metabolic disease, there are people who are normal weight who still develop diabetes, and it’s possible that this could be due to low muscle mass. Our main findings were that, in normal weight women, women with more abdominal, thigh, and overall muscle were less likely to develop diabetes over a 13-year period.  (more…)