Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 20.01.2016

More on Mental Health on Interview with: Christoph U. Correll, MD Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine Hempstead, New York, USA Investigator, Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Manhasset, New York, Medical Director, Recognition and Prevention The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Department of Psychiatry  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Correll: Antipsychotics have been used increasingly for psychotic, but also for many non-psychotic conditions, including for disorders and conditions for which they have not received regulatory approval. Moreover, antipsychotics have been associated with weight gain and abnormalities in blood fat and blood glucose levels. Although data in youth have been less available than in children and adolescents, youth appear to be more sensitive to the cardiometabolic adverse effects of antipsychotics than adults in whom significant weight gain might have already occurred due to long-term prior antipsychotic treatment. Nevertheless, type 2 diabetes, which is related to weight gain, overweight and obesity, seemed to be more common in adults than youth, likely due to the fact that it takes a long time for the body to develop diabetes. Recently, several individual epidemiologic or database studies with sufficient long-term follow-up durations suggested that the type 2 diabetes risk was higher in youth exposed to antipsychotics than healthy control youth and, possibly, even compared to psychiatrically ill patients treated with non-antipsychotic medications. However, a meta-analytic pooling of all available data has not been available to estimate the absolute and relative risk of type 2 diabetes in youth receiving antipsychotic treatment.  Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Correll: The main findings of the study that meta-analyzed data from 13 studies with 185,105 youth exposed to antipsychotics (average age 14.1 and 59.5 percent male) are that the absolute rates of type 2 diabetes are fortunately still relatively low, i.e. a cumulative type 2 diabetes  risk of 5.7/1,000 patients and an exposure adjusted incidence rate of 3.1/1,000 patient-years. Nevertheless, the cumulative risk of type 2 diabetes and its exposure adjusted incidence rate per patient were 2.6 times and three times higher compared with 298,803 healthy controls. Furthermore, the cumulative risk of type 2 diabetes and its exposure adjusted incidence rate per patient were 2.1 times and 1.8 times higher compared with 1,342,121 psychiatric patients not exposed to antipsychotics. Main modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes development in antipsychotic-treated youth were treatment with the antipsychotic olanzapine and longer antipsychotic exposure time. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes, NIH, OBGYNE / 13.01.2016 Interview with: Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator, Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health Rockville, MD 20852  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Zhang: Potatoes are the third most commonly consumed food crop in the world. In the United States, about 35% of women of reproductive age consume potatoes daily, accounting for 8% of daily total energy intake.  Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common complication of pregnancy characterized by glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. GDM is at the center of a vicious circle of 'diabetes begets diabetes' across generations. Potato foods are typically higher in glycemic index and glycemic load, but data are lacking regarding whether potato consumption is associated with the risk of Gestational diabetes mellitus. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Zhang: Women who eat more potatoes before pregnancy may have higher risk of gestational diabetes—the form of diabetes that occurs or first diagnosed during pregnancy—compared to women who consume fewer potatoes. Substituting potatoes with other vegetables, legumes or whole grains may help lower gestational diabetes risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, OBGYNE / 23.12.2015 Interview with: Dr. Janet Rowan Obstetric Physician National Women's Health, Auckland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Rowan: Clinicians are interested in screening during early pregnancy to identify women with previously unrecognised diabetes, as these women have increased risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes. HbA1c is a simple and reproducible measure of glucose elevations, but its usefulness as an early pregnancy screening test is not clear. The aim of this study was to examine whether pregnant women with an HbA1c of 41-49mmol/mol (5.9-6.6%) are a high risk subgroup and whether treating these women from early pregnancy improves outcomes compared with identifying them during routine screening for gestational diabetes (GDM) from 24 weeks’ gestation. This observational study compared women referred to the diabetes clinic <24 weeks’ who had an early pregnancy HbA1c of 41-49mmol/mol (5.9-6.6%) with women who, at the time of diagnosis of GDM ≥24 weeks’ (typically by 75gOGTT), had an HbA1c of 41-49mmol/mol (5.9-6.6%). Both groups were compared with women diagnosed with GDM who had a lower HbA1c at diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Telemedicine / 23.12.2015 Interview with: Christina Y. Weng, MD, MBA Assistant Professor-Vitreoretinal Diseases & Surgery Baylor College of Medicine-Cullen Eye Institute  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Weng: Telemedicine has been around for a long time, but only recently have technological advances solidified its utility as a reliable, effective, and cost-efficient method of healthcare provision.  The application of telemedicine in the field of ophthalmology has been propelled by the development of high-quality non-mydriatic cameras, HIPAA-compliant servers for the storage and transfer of patient data, and the growing demand for ophthalmological care despite the relatively stagnant supply of eye care specialists.  The global epidemic of diabetes mellitus has contributed significantly to this growing demand, as the majority of patients with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy in their lifetime. Today, there are over 29 million Americans with diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults in the United States.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s and American Diabetes Association’s formal screening guidelines recommend that all diabetic patients receive an annual dilated funduscopic examination.  Unfortunately, the compliance rate with this recommendation is quite dismal at an estimated 50-65%.  It is even lower amongst minority populations which comprise the demographic majority of those served by the Harris Health System in Harris County, Texas, the third most populous county in the United States. In 2013, the Harris Health System initiated a teleretinal screening program housed by eight of the district’s primary care clinics.  In this system, patients with diabetes are identified by their primary care provider (PCP) during their appointments, immediately directed to receive funduscopic photographs by trained on-site personnel operating non-mydriatic cameras, and provided a follow-up recommendation (e.g., referral for in-clinic examination versus repeat imaging in 1 year) depending on the interpretation of their images.  The images included in our study were interpreted via two different ways—once by the IRISTM (Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems) proprietary auto-reader and then again by a trained ophthalmic specialist from the IRISTM reading center.  The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of the auto-reader by comparing its results to those of the reading center. Data for 15,015 screened diabetic patients (30,030 eyes) were included.  The sensitivity of the auto-reader in detecting severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy or worse, deemed sight threatening diabetic eye disease (STDED), compared to the reading center interpretation of the same images was 66.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 62.8% - 69.9%) with a false negative rate of 2%.  In a population where 15.8% of diabetics have STDED, the negative predictive value of the auto-reader was 97.8% (CI 96.8% - 98.6%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Nutrition / 20.12.2015 Interview with: Dr. Qi Sun Sc.D Assistant Professor Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Qi Sun: Potato is considered as a vegetable in certain dietary recommendations, such as in the U.S. MyPlate food guide, whereas in the U.K. national food guide, potato is grouped with cereal as sources of carbohydrates. Potato foods are typically higher in glycemic index and glycemic load, but data are rare regarding whether individual and total potato foods are associated with chronic diseases. In this analysis, we focused on diabetes and found that a higher consumption of total potato foods and individual potato foods, especially french fries, was associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in three large cohort studies of ~200 thousand U.S. men and women. In addition, we found that increased potato food consumption over time was associated with a subsequent increased risk of developing diabetes. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pharmacology / 13.12.2015 Interview with: Francesco Zaccardi, MD Diabetes Research Centre Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, United Kingdom Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Zaccardi: Nowadays there are different classes of drugs for the treatment of hyperglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes and, within the same class, multiple drugs are available.Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors (GLP-1RAs) are a relatively new class of treatments that improve glucose control and reduce body weight, without an increased risk for hypoglycaemia. To date, however, no direct comparisons between once-weekly GLP-1RAs have been reported. In this view, the aim was to assess the comparative efficacy and safety profile of GLP-1RAs using a network meta-analysis, a methodology that allows the estimation of the comparative effectiveness of multiple treatments in the absence of direct evidence. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Zaccardi: There are several differences in the efficacy and safety profiles of once-weekly glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). Some of these drugs evidenced a better glucose control or body weight reduction, while other had an increased risk of side effects, such as nausea. Compared to other once-weekly GLP-1RAs, dulaglutide 1.5mg, once weekly exenatide, and taspoglutide 20mg showed a greater reduction of HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, and body weight. Marginal or no differences were found for blood pressure and blood lipid levels. While taspoglutide 20mg had the highest risk of nausea, the risk of hypoglycaemia among once-weekly GLP-1RAs was comparable. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics / 10.12.2015 Interview with: Maria C. Magnus PhD Norwegian Institute of Public Health Department of Chronic Diseases Nydalen Norway Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Magnus: Type 1 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic diseases with onset in childhood, but environmental risk factors have not been convincingly established. A few previous studies report that childhood weight increase might influence the development of type 1 diabetes. This study combined information from two Scandinavian birth cohorts, including more than 99,000 children. The results showed that a higher weight increase during the first year of life increased the risk of type 1 diabetes. The same was not seen for height increase during the first year of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cost of Health Care, Diabetes, Mayo Clinic / 09.12.2015 Interview with: Rozalina G. McCoy, M.D. Senior Associate Consultant Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine Mayo Clinic Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. McCoy: Blood glucose monitoring is an integral component of managing diabetes.  Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a measure of average glycemia over approximately 3 months, and is used in routine clinical practice to monitor and adjust treatment with glucose-lowering medications.  However, monitoring and treatment protocols are not well defined by professional societies and regulatory bodies; while lower thresholds of testing frequencies are often discussed, the upper boundaries are rarely mentioned.  Most agree that for adult patients who are not using insulin, have stable glycemic control within the recommended targets, and have no history of severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, checking once or twice a year should suffice. Yet in practice, there is a much higher prevalence of excess testing.  We believe that such over-testing results in redundancy and waste, adding unnecessary costs and burdens for patients and the health care system. We therefore conducted a large retrospective study among 31,545 adults across the U.S. with stable and controlled type 2 diabetes who had HbA1c less than 7% without use of insulin and without documented severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.  We found that 55% of patients had their HbA1c checked 3-4 times per year, and 6% had it checked 5 times a year or more.  Such excessive testing had additional harms as well – we found that excessive testing was associated with greater risk of treatment intensification despite the fact that all patients in the study already met glycemic targets by having HbA1c under 7%.  Indeed, treatment was intensified by addition of more glucose lowering drugs or insulin in 8.4% of patients (comprising 13%, 9%, and 7% of those tested 5 or more times per year; 3-4 times per year; and 1-2 times per year, respectively). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Education, Gender Differences / 27.11.2015 Interview with: Marlene Øhrberg Krag , MD, MIH Department of Public Health University of Copenhagen, Denmark Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Krag: In this follow-up study we wanted to assess whether there was any difference in longterm treatment outcome of personally tailored diabetes care when comparing men and women. The "Diabetes Care in General Practice" trial included people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Patients were randomized to receive 6 years of either routine care or personally tailored care with regular follow-up, individualized treatment goal setting and continuing education of the participant general practitioners. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Krag: Following up the patients for 13 years after 6 years of intervention a significant reduction in all cause mortality and diabetes related death was seen for women but not men. This difference could not be explained by intermediate outcomes like HgbA1c alone, and is suggested to be based on a complex of biological, social and cultural issues of gender . Women accept disease and implement disease management more easily than men, whereas men may feel challenged by diabetes, demanding daily consideration and lifestyle changes. Furthermore the study provided attention and support, which the women reported they lack and this could provide an incentive to treatment adherence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 26.11.2015 Interview with: Karina Birgitta Berg MD Department of Ophthalmology Oslo University Hospital Oslo, Norway  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Berg: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) has been the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly population of Western countries. Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with medications such as bevacizumab and ranibizumab injected into the eye, has dramatically reduced the incidence of social blindness from this disease. Bevacizumab was marketed for intravenous cancer treatment, while ranibizumab was later developed and approved for intraocular treatment of nAMD. Due to similar clinical effects and a strikingly low cost compared to ranibizumab, bevacizumab has remained widely used as an off-label treatment for the treatment of nAMD. In order to preserve vision results over time, most patients need injections repeatedly. Treatment on a monthly basis has shown good vision improvement, while monitoring monthly and treating only when signs of recurrences appear, is less successful. The aim of a treat-and-extend protocol is to gradually increase the treatment intervals, while avoiding potentially harmful recurrences. This treatment modality has become commonly used, entailing fewer patient visits and less burden upon health care systems. The multicenter prospective randomized Lucentis Compared to Avastin Study (LUCAS) was aimed at comparing the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab versus ranibizumab when following a treat-and-extend protocol. The patients received monthly injection treatment until inactive disease was achieved. The treatment interval was then increased by two weeks at a time up to a maximum of 12 weeks. In the event of a recurrence, the treatment interval was reduced by two weeks at a time. The study demonstrated equivalent results in vision improvement with bevacizumab and ranibizumab after two years of treatment. Treatment according to a treat-and-extend protocol was safe with good visual results when extending up to 10 weeks, while recurrences at 12-week intervals had a negative impact on the final results on vision. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, FASEB, Nutrition, Yale / 24.11.2015 Interview with: David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center Griffin Hospital President, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Founder, True Health Initiative Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Katz: the evidence that nuts in general, and walnuts in particular, have health promoting properties is vast and conclusive.  In our own prior research, we have shown that daily ingestion of walnuts ameliorates overall cardiac risk in type 2 diabetics ( and that the same intervention improves cardiac risk and body composition in adults at risk for diabetes (  Our prior studies, and work by others, suggest that despite their energy density, walnuts may exert a favorable influence on calorie intake and weight, because of their very high satiety factor.  We also know that walnuts are highly nutritious overall, and suspect that those who add walnuts to their diets are apt to 'bump' something less nutritious out, thereby improving the overall quality of their diets as measured objectively. Accordingly, we designed the new study to look at the effects of daily walnut ingestion on diet quality, weight, and cardiac risk measures in a larger cohort of adults at risk for type 2 diabetes (ie, central obesity, indications of insulin resistance) over a longer period of time.  We also wondered whether the addition of some 350 daily calories from walnuts would result in the displacement of a comparable number of calories from other sources, so we compared the effects of the intervention with, and without, counseling to help people 'make room' for the walnut calories. We found again that walnuts improved overall cardiac risk status, as measured by endothelial function- essentially, a direct measure of blood vessel health and blood flow.  We also found that adding walnuts to the diet significantly improved overall diet quality, and did not lead to weight gain.  Walnuts also improved the lipid profile.  When walnut intake was combined with counseling for overall calorie intake, there was a significant decline in waist circumference. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 16.11.2015 Interview with: Adam R. Glassman, MS Jaeb Center for Health Research Tampa, FL 33647 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects blood vessels in the retina. When diabetic retinopathy worsens to proliferative diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels in the retina can leak fluid or bleed, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. Scatter laser treatment, also called panretinal photocoagulation, has been standard therapy for the treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy since the 1970s. While effective in preserving central vision, laser therapy can reduce side vision and cause swelling in an area of the retina that is important for central vision. This study aimed to find an alternative therapy that avoided these undesirable side effects. Eyes in this study were assigned randomly to treatment with intraocular anti-VEGF injections of Lucentis® or scatter laser treatment. The results of this study demonstrate that eye injections of Lucentis® are as effective for vision outcomes at 2 years as laser therapy. On average, vision among eyes treated with Lucentis® improved by about half a line on an eye chart, with virtually no improvement among eyes treated with laser therapy. Compared with laser-treated eyes, eyes treated with Lucentis injection on average had less side vision loss, less frequent development of swelling in the central retina, and fewer complex retina surgeries for retinal bleeding or retinal detachment. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes / 12.11.2015 Interview with: Prof. Julia Hippisley-Cox PhD Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & General Practice Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences The University of Nottingham  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? ProfHippisley-Cox:          Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of blindness and amputation but generally do not have an accurate assessment of the magnitude of their individual risk. There are currently no tools available to calculate risk of other complications such as amputation or blindness. This is important since these are the complications which patients with diabetes fear most and which most impair quality of life. They are also the complications for which patients are most likely to over-estimate their risk and over-estimate the benefits of intensive treatment.          We have developed and externally validated new risk prediction algorithms which calculates absolute risk of developing these complications over a 10 year period in patients with diabetes, taking account of their individual risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease / 12.11.2015 Interview with: Charuhas Thakar, MD Director, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Professor of Medicine University of Cincinnati Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? "Diabetes is the major contributor to the growing burden of end-stage renal disease,” says Charuhas Thakar, MD, professor and director of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the UC College of Medicine. "Acute kidney injury is a common problem among diabetic patients who require admissions to hospitals. Approximately one-third of patients who develop AKI also have diabetes mellitus.” Dr. Thakar along with a team of researchers have looked at a cohort of about 3,700 patients with Type 2 diabetes longitudinally followed for a five-year period to determine AKI’s impact. AKI is a rapid loss of kidney function, which is common in hospitalized patients. It has many causes that include low blood volume, exposure to substances or interventions harmful to the kidney and obstruction of the urinary tract. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics, Probiotics / 10.11.2015

Dr. Ulla Uusitalo PhD University of South Florida, Interview with: Dr. Ulla Uusitalo PhD University of South Florida, Tampa Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Uusitalo: The TEDDY Study is an international prospective cohort study with the primary goal to identify environmental causes of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). It is carried out in six clinical research centers, in four countries: University of Colorado Health Science Center (US), Georgia Regents University (US), Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute (US), Turku University Hospital (Finland), Institute of Diabetes Research (Germany), and Lund University (Sweden), since 2004. One possible environmental factor related to Type 1 Diabetes etiology is diet. Dietary supplements including probiotics as well as various types of infant formulas including probiotic fortified infant formula are studied. The microbial composition of gut has been shown to be associated with the development of  Type 1 Diabetes. Colonization of the infant gut starts already in utero and early microbial exposures have been found to be important in defining the trajectory of colonization. Probiotics have been demonstrated to induce favorable immunomodulation and it has been suggested that probiotic treatment could prevent T1D. Therefore we wanted to study the early exposures of probiotic and risk of islet autoimmunity, a condition often preceding Type 1 Diabetes. This study produced very interesting results. The main finding was that we found 60% decrease in the risk of islet autoimmunity among children with HLA genotype of DR3/4 (high risk), who were exposed to probiotics during the first 27 days of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Diabetes, Kidney Disease / 10.11.2015 Interview with: Miklos Z Molnar, MD, PhD, FEBTM, FERA, FASN Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis, TN, 38163  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Molnar: We examine the association between presence of depression and all-cause mortality; incident Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) (new onset AMI, CABG or PCI), incident ischemic stroke, slopes of eGFR (OLS, <-5 vs ≥-5 ml/min/1.73m2/yr) in 933,211 diabetic (based on ICD9, medication and HbA1c ≥ 6.5%) US Veterans with eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2 at baseline. We adjusted for independent covariates, collected from VA databases, such as age, gender, race, BMI, marital status, income, service connection, comorbid conditions (ICD9), baseline eGFR, serum albumin. Mean age was 64±11 years, 97% were male and 18% African-American. Depression was present in 340,806 (37%) patients at enrollment. During a median follow-up of 7.3 years, 180,343 patients (19%) developed Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).AS (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] and 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20 (1.19-1.21)). Similarly, depression was associated with 35% higher risk of incident stroke (aHR and 95% CI: 1.35 (1.32-1.39), 24% higher risk of incident CHD (aHR and 95% CI: 1.24 (1.22-1.27) and 25% higher risk of all cause mortality (aHR and 95% CI: 1.25 (1.24-1.26) during the follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 10.11.2015 Interview with: Dr. Christina Mangurian MD Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Department of Psychiatry's first Director of Diversity Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mangurian: People with severe mental illness (SMI, e.g., schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) die 25 years earlier than the general population, often from cardiovascular disease.  The ADA and APA guidelines recommend annual diabetes screening of this population when taking certain antipsychotic medications.  Despite these guidelines, nearly 70% of this population remain unscreened.  This has huge public health implications and likely costs our public health system a tremendous amount in undiagnosed disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Diabetes / 05.11.2015 Interview with: Dr Nicoletta Provinciali, MD Oncologist from the E.O. Ospedali Galliera Genoa, Italy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Provinciali: We know that higher insulin levels have been associated with a worse prognosis in early breast cancer patients. In this study we wanted to evaluate the impact of insulin resistance on metastatic breast cancer patients receiving first line chemotherapy. We found that insulin resistance status together with the endocrine status had an adverse prognostic effect. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 30.10.2015 Interview with: Dr. Yung-Tai Chen MD Division of Nephrology Department of Medicine Taipei City Hospital Heping Fuyou Branch Taipei, Taiwan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Chen: Recent studies concluded that dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors can provide glycemic control but also raised concerns about the risk of heart failure in patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). However, large-scale studies of the effects of DPP-4 inhibitors versus sulfonylureas (SUs) on cardiovascular outcomes when used as add-ons to metformin therapy remain scarce. Our study showed that compared to SUs, DPP-4 inhibitors were associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, stroke and hypoglycemia as an add-on to metformin. Besides, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors had comparable risks of hospitalization for heart failure to sulfonylureas as add-ons to metformin. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections, Surgical Research / 29.10.2015

Emily Toth Martin, Ph.D. MPH Assistant Professor, Epidemiology University of Michigan School of Public Interview with: Emily Toth Martin, Ph.D. MPH Assistant Professor, Epidemiology University of Michigan School of Public Health  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Surgical site infections are responsible for billions in health care costs in the U.S. We are working to identify groups of people who are particularly impacted by surgical site infections. By looking at the results of 94 studies, we were able to take a 60,000 foot view of the connection between diabetes and surgical site infection. We found that diabetes raises the risk of infection across many types of surgeries. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NEJM / 28.10.2015

Marcus Lind, M.D., Ph.D Department of Medicine, Uddevalla Hospital Uddevalla, Swede Interview with: Marcus Lind, M.D., Ph.D Department of Medicine, Uddevalla Hospital Uddevalla, Swede Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Lind:  One of the main goals of the diabetes care is to reduce excess mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes close to that of the general population. We want patients to have a similar life expectancy as individuals in the general population. Earlier studies have shown that targeting good glucose levels, blood lipid and blood pressure levels are beneficial with respect to decrease cardiovascular disease being the main cause for mortality. We wanted to evaluate the prognosis for individuals with type 2 diabetes today in Sweden. Further, earlier population-based studies have generally assessed mortality rates only on a group level whereas we believe the prognosis differs greatly depending on various factors such as how well risk factor control is obtained in clinical practice. The Swedish Diabetes Registry include more than 90% of all individuals with type 2 diabetes in Sweden and information of e.g. the glycaemic control, measured by a biomarker called A1c exists for most persons. There were 97% who had at least 1 measurement. Also most patients had information of other risk factors, among others renal complications which we believed were of special concern.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Disease / 21.10.2015

Adil Mardinoglu, PhD Assistant Professor of Systems BiologyScience for Life Laboratory Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Stockholm, Interview with: Adil Mardinoglu, PhD Assistant Professor of Systems BiologyScience for Life Laboratory Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mardinoglu: The functional output and diversity of the gut microbiota are important modulators for the development of various human disorders. Obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), atherosclerosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as the opposite end of the spectrum, for example, malnutrition have been associated with dysbiosis in the human gut microbiota. In our study, we investigated the interactions between the gut microbiota, host tissues of the gastrointestinal tract and other peripheral tissues as well as diet which are known to be highly relevant for the health of the host. Through integration of high throughput experimental data, we revealed that the microbiota in the small intestine consumes glycine which is one of the three amino acids required for the synthesis of the glutathione. In order to confirm our predictions, we measured the level of the amino acids in the portal vein of the mice. We observed lower level of glycine in liver and colon tissues, and this indicated that the gut microbiota regulates glutathione metabolism not only in the small intestine but also in the liver and the colon tissues. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Primary Care / 18.10.2015 Interview with: Jay H. Shubrook DO FACOFP, FAAFP Professor Primary Care Department Director of Clinical Research and Diabetes Services Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Shubrook: Type 2 DM is a progressive disease that is marked by declining beta cell function that results is worsening hyperglycemia. Current guidelines recommend a stepped approach in which people start with lifestyle and then sequentially add medications. The guidelines recommend that treatments be assessed regularly and titrated every 2-3 months. Unfortunately this does not happen. Clinical inertia is coming when treating diabetes where years -- not months- will pass before treatments are titrated. Time is not our friend in type 2 diabetes so we need to find a way to intervene earlier so we can see durable glucose control and hopefully longer terms preservation of beta cell function. The INSPIRE trial (intensive insulin as the primary treatment of type 2 diabetes) tested the effect of a pulse of early basal and bolus insulin therapy on glucose control, side effects (hypoglycemia, weight gain) and beta cell function. This regimen was compared to intensive oral therapy (2009 ADA treatment guidelines0 but medications titrated monthly). In short this randomized controlled multi center clinical trials explored does a 12 week pulse of basal-bolus insulin control glucose better than 15 months of on going and monthly titrated medications. The results showed that 12 weeks of insulin therapy (and then all treatment stopped) had similar A1c reduction and time to and need for rescue therapy compared to intensively treated on going oral medications for 15 months. Rates of hypoglycemia were low and intact those in the insulin arm lost weight while those in the medication arm gained weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Surgical Research / 17.10.2015 Interview with: Jan Peter Yska, PharmD Medical Centre Leeuwarden Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Clinical Pharmacology Leeuwarden The Netherlands Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Yska: Many patients with morbid obesity have known type 2 diabetes mellitus. Bariatric surgery effectively prevents and treats type 2 diabetes. A growing number of studies suggests that surgical treatment for obese patients may be considered an additional treatment option for the management of type 2 diabetes. However, an observational study on the remission of type 2 diabetes, using strict criteria for remisson of diabetes, after different types of bariatric surgery, based on data from general practice has not been carried out yet. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Yska: Our study included 569 obese patients with type 2 diabetes who had different types of weight-loss surgery and 1,881 similar diabetic patients who didn’t have surgery. This study confirms that bariatric surgery is successful in treating diabetes mellitus type 2. Per 1,000 person years 94.5 diabetes remissions were found in patients who underwent bariatric surgery, compared to 4.9 diabetes remissions in matched controls. A strict definition of remission of diabetes was used, much stricter than in other studies: patients should have stopped all diabetic medications with an HbA1c < 6.0% after at least 6 months of follow-up. Diabetic patients who underwent bariatric surgery had an 18-fold increased chance of diabetes remission, compared to diabetic patients who did not undergo surgery, with the greatest effect size observed for gastric bypass (adj. RR 43.1), followed by sleeve gastrectomy (adj. RR 16.6), and gastric banding (adj. 6.9). The largest decrease in  HbA1c and blood glucose levels was observed in the first two years after bariatric surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 14.10.2015 Interview with: Guofang Chen MD Endocrine and Diabetes Center Jiangsu Province Hospital on Integration of Chinese and Western Medicine Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Guofang Chen: With the high prevalence of diabetes in China (about 11.6% in adults from 2013 data), finding a way to improve remission of diabetes, and decrease the risk of developing diabetes, can be considered urgent. Very low calorie diet (VLCD) has been reported as a quick therapeutic tool to improve glucose control in obese type 2 diabetic patients. We investigated the effects of short-term Very low calorie diet in both lean and overweight/obese type 2 diabetic patients in China. We find that short-term VLCD effectively improved insulin sensitivity, beta-cell function, glucose control, and lipid profile in overweight/obese rather than lean patients with type 2 diabetes in China. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 13.10.2015

Iris Shai MD PhD Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases Dep. of Public Health Faculty of Health Interview with: Iris Shai MD PhD Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases Dep. of Public Health Faculty of Health Sciences Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Shai: Despite enormous contribution of observational studies, clinical recommendations for moderate alcohol consumption remain controversial, particularly for people with diabetes, due to lack of long-term, randomized controlled trials, which are needed for evidence-based medicine. People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing cardiovascular diseases than the general population and have lower levels of HDL-c. Also, it is uncertain if red wine confers any advantage over white wine or whether the ethanol is the primary mediator of alcoholic beverages related beneficial associations.  The two-year CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes and Ethanol (CASCADE) RCT was performed among 224 controlled diabetes patients (aged 45 to 75), who generally abstained from alcohol. Red wine was found to be superior in improving overall metabolic profiles, mainly by modestly improving the lipid profile. As for glycemic control and blood pressure, the effect of both, red or white wine, was dependent on ADH enzyme polymorphism, suggesting personalized approach. Overall, wine of either type did not effect change in liver function tests, adiposity, or adverse events/symptoms. However, sleep quality was significantly improved in both wine groups, compared with the water control group. All comparisons were adjusted for changes in clinical, medical and drug therapy parameters occurring among patients during the years of the study. The trial completed with adherence rate of 87 percent after 2 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, Diabetologia / 25.09.2015

Ramon C. Hermida Dominguez, Ph.D. Director, Bioengineering & Chronobiology Labs. Campus Universitario Vigo, Interview with: Ramon C. Hermida Dominguez, Ph.D. Director, Bioengineering & Chronobiology Labs. Campus Universitario Vigo, Pontevedra Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hermida Dominguez: Independent studies have shown that the asleep blood pressure (BP) mean is abetter predictor of cardiovascular risk than clinic BP or the awake blood pressure mean derived from ambulatory BP monitoring. Moreover, sleep-time hypertension is highly prevalent among patients with type 2 diabetes. In the first manuscript we tested two novel hypotheses: (i) whether sleep-time BP is a prognostic marker for future development of diabetes; and (ii) whether progressive reduction of sleep-time blood pressure actually reduces the risk of developing diabetes. The main findings indicate that sleep-time blood pressure is indeed a highly significant prognostic marker for new-onset diabetes, while clinic blood pressure measurements are not. Most important from the therapeutic point of view, the results from our prospective study also indicate lowering asleep blood pressure could indeed be a significant method for reducing the risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, multiple clinical trials have shown that bedtime ingestion of hypertension medications of several classes is associated with improved blood pressure measurements control and increased efficacy in lowering asleep BP. In the second manuscript we investigated whether therapy with the entire daily dose of one or more antihypertensive medications at bedtime exerts better reduction in the risk of developing diabetes than ingesting all medications in the morning upon awakening. The results from this randomized clinical trial indicate a significant 57% decrease in the risk of developing diabetes in the bedtime compared to the awakening treatment regimen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Outcomes & Safety, Technology / 21.09.2015

Wencui Han PhD Assistant Professor Business Administration University of Illinois at Urbana Interview with: Wencui Han PhD Assistant Professor Business Administration University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Han: Well-designed disease registries integrate a variety of information, including patient demographics, laboratory results, pharmacy data, and comorbidity data, to serve a variety of functions outside the clinical encounter. However, the adoption of disease registries by healthcare organizations is associated with significant direct and indirect costs. The impacts of using disease registries that meet meaningful use (MU) requirements in improving health outcomes and creating cost savings are understudied. This study examines the impact of using a registry for patient reminders and for improvement of the quality of care, hospital utilization, and cost saving. The results suggest that the use of diabetes registries meeting Meaningful Use core objectives is associated with higher completion or recommended lab tests and a lower hospital utilization rate for patients with type 2 diabetes. (more…)