Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, UCSD / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: H. Kirk Hammond, MD Professor of Medicine at University of California San Diego Basic research scientist and cardiologist San Diego Veterans' Affairs Healthcare System Dr. Hammond is winner of the 2017 William S. Middleton Award – the highest research honor in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Worldwide, 9% of adults have diabetes, predominantly due to insulin resistance, known as Type 2 diabetes. It is associated with obesity and diets high in fat and carbohydrates. In this gene transfer study we showed that a single injection of a vector encoding a natural hormone (urocortin 2, Ucn2) increased glucose disposal and improved heart function in a model of diet-induced Type 2 diabetes in mice.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Technology, UCSF / 12.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Avram MD MSc Division of Cardiology University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe what is meant by Photoplethysmography? While analyzing the heart rate data as collected using smartphones apps in the Health-eHeart study, we noticed that diabetic patients had, on average, a higher ‘free-living’ heart rate than non-diabetic patients when adjusted from multiple factors. This pushed us to analyze the signal to see if there were other features that would help differentiate diabetes patients from non-diabetes patients. By identifying these features, we saw a huge opportunity to develop a screening tool for diabetes using deep learning and a smartphone camera and flash, in order to classify patients as having prevalent diabetes/no-diabetes. Photoplethysmography is the technique of measuring the difference in light absorption by the skin in order to detect blood volume changes in the microvasculature. Most modern mobile devices, including smartphones and many fitness trackers (Apple Wathc, FitBit), have the ability to acquire PPG waveforms, providing a unique opportunity to detect diabetes-related vascular changes at population-scale.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pharmaceutical Companies, Weight Research / 12.03.2019

WeightControl.com Interview with: Dr. Lynn Kramer, MD FAAN VP and Chief Clinical Officer & Chief Medical Office Eisai Co., Ltd WeightControl.com: What is the background for this announcement? Response: On February 25th, Eisai announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its supplemental New Drug Application to potentially update the label for BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCI) CIV 10 mg twice-daily/BELVIQ XR (lorcaserin HCI) CIV once daily to include long-term efficacy and safety data from CAMELLIA-TIMI 61, a clinical trial of BELVIQ in 12,000 overweight and obese patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease and/or multiple CV risk factors such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Nutrition, Salt-Sodium, Weight Research / 09.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan A McCrory, PhD, FTOS Research Associate Professor Dept of Health Sciences Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Boston University 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in the US, along with documented increases in portion size in the food supply. Fast food is popular, making up about 11% of adult daily calorie intake in the US, and over 1/3 of U.S. adults eat at fast food establishments on any given day. We therefore sought to examine changes in portion size, calories, and selected nutrients in fast-food entree, side, and dessert menu items across the years 1986, 1991, and 2016. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Statins / 08.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fariba Ahmadizar, PharmD, MSc, PhD Department of Epidemiology Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several observational studies and trials have already reported an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes in subjects treated with statins; however, most of them lack details, meaning that there were limited studies on the association of statin use with glycemic traits. Studies on this association underestimated type 2 diabetes incident cases due to including either questionnaire-based data, short follow-up time or lack of a direct comparison between different statin types, dosages and duration of use with respect to diabetes-related outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giuseppe Pugliese, MD, PhD for the Italian Diabetes and Exercise Study 2 (IDES_2) Investigators Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine ‘‘La Sapienza’’ University Diabetes Unit, Sant’Andrea University Hospital Rome, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a growing epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes worldwide, which are causally related to the increasing prevalence of “physical inactivity”, i.e., an insufficient amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity according to current guidelines, and “sedentariness”, i.e., too many hours, especially if uninterrupted, spent in a sitting or reclined position.  These two unhealthy behaviors exert their detrimental effects independently of each other and are very common among people suffering from type 2 diabetes, who would therefore benefit from increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary time, as recommended by current guidelines. However, such a behavior change is generally difficult for a number of internal and external barriers and requires behavioral interventions targeting both physical activity and sedentary habits.  Unfortunately, there is no definitive evidence that this is indeed feasible and, particularly, that, if adopted, change in behavior can be maintained in the long term.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Metabolic Syndrome, Stroke / 10.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Spence M.D., FRCPC, FAHA Professor of Neurology and Clinical Pharmacology Director, Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre, Robarts Research Institute, Western University London, ON Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The motivation for the study was the chair of the committee that advises the Ontario Drug Benefit which medications to pay for said the IRIS results were not relevant to clinical practice. This because the Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke (IRIS) trial reported effects of pioglitazone in patients with stroke or TIA and insulin resistance assessed by the Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) score for insulin resistance.1 ( However, few clinicians measure a HOMA-iR score, so the clinical impact of that trial was limited. In this study we analyzed the effect of pioglitazone in stroke/TIA patients with prediabetes, which is commonly assessed by clinicians. Prediabetes was defined by the American Diabetes Association: a glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) of  5.7% to <6.5% (we did not do glucose tolerance tests).  We analyzed primarily the results for patients with 80% adherence, but also did  an intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis.  The reason for focusing on patients with good adherence was that pioglitazone cannot be taken by about 10-20% of patients, because of fluid retention and weight gain (mainly due  to fluid retention).  (The reasoning was that third party payers would not need to pay for the medication in patients who do not take it.) In stroke/TIA patients with good adherence, the benefits of pioglitazone were greater than in the original IRIS trial. We found a 40% reduction of stroke/MI, a 33% reduction of stroke, and an 80% reduction of new-onset diabetes, over 5 years.  Pioglitazone also improved blood pressure, triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol. As expected, pioglitazone was somewhat less beneficial in the ITT analysis. Fluid retention can usually be managed by reducing the dose of pioglitazone; even small doses still have a beneficial effect . Also, amiloride has been shown to reduce fluid retention with pioglitazone.
  1. Kernan WN, Viscoli CM, Furie KL, Young LH, Inzucchi SE, Gorman M, Guarino PD, Lovejoy AM, Peduzzi PN, Conwit R, Brass LM, Schwartz GG, Adams HP, Jr., Berger L, Carolei A, Clark W, Coull B, Ford GA, Kleindorfer D, O'Leary JR, Parsons MW, Ringleb P, Sen S, Spence JD, Tanne D, Wang D, Winder TR and Investigators IT. Pioglitazone after Ischemic Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack. N Engl J Med. 2016;374:1321-31. 
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AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Stroke / 08.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen C. Johnston MD Professor and Chair, Neurology School of Medicine University of Virginia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that acute ischemic stroke patient with hyperglycemia at presentation have worse outcomes. We also know if we lower the glucose too low that this is bad for ischemic brain also. T he SHINE trial addressed a world wide debate about whether intensive treatment of hyperglycemia is beneficial. We assessed the efficacy and safety of an intensive glucose control protocol with a target glucose of 80-130 mg/dL compared to a more standard protocol with a target of less than 180 mg/dL. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Surgical Research / 07.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lene Ring Madsen, MD, Ph.d. Medicinsk Afdeling  Herning Hospitalsenheden Vest Lene Ring Madsen, MD, Ph.d. Medicinsk Afdeling  Herning Hospitalsenheden Vest MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know from previous studies that there is a significant chance of diabetes remission following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but most studies evaluate smaller cohorts of selected patients (e.g. from a single center or only patients covered by a specific type of insurance). By using Danish registries, which hold information on all Danish Citizens independent of social- or economic status and have complete follow-up, we wanted to evaluate the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) in a real-world setting. The main findings are that more than 70 % of patients with obesity (BMI>35 kg/m2) and type 2 diabetes treated by RYGB had their diabetes go into remission or every 6-month period in the first 5 years after the procedure. Out of those who were in remission within the first year of follow-up 27% had undergone relapse at 5 years. The most important predictor of a patient not going into remission was if they required insulin to control their disease. Other factors included older age and higher starting HbA1c level. During the more than five years of follow-up, the risk of microvascular complications was 47% lower in the RYGB group than in the control population, with largest decreases in the risk of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic kidney disease. There was a smaller impact on the risk of macrovascular events, which were 24% lower among patients who had received bariatric surgery; however, this difference was not large enough to achieve statistical significance. The 90-day mortality was very low (<0.5%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Education, JAMA, Pediatrics / 06.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Niels Skipper PhD Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Business Economics Aarhus University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is unclear if there is an association between type 1 diabetes and school performance in children. Some studies have found type 1 diabetes to be associated with worse performance, while others have found no differences. However, most of the existing literature are based on smaller, non-random samples of children with diabetes. In this study we used data on all public school children in the country of Denmark, involving more than 600,000 schoolchildren where approximately 2,000 had a confirmed diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The children were tested in math and reading using a nationally standardized testing procedure, and we found no difference in the obtain test scores between children with diabetes compared to children without diabetes.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Primary Care / 01.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Diane M. Gibson, Ph.D. Executive Director – New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center, Baruch RDC Associate Professor – Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College - CUNY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior studies have found that screening for diabetic retinopathy in primary care settings using telemedicine increased screening rates among individuals with diabetes and among subgroups of individuals with diabetes who are at high risk of missing recommended eye exams.  In a previous paper I looked at how often U.S. adults with diabetes visited primary care and eye care providers for recommended diabetes preventive care services using a sample from the 2007-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.  I found that while visits to eye care providers were often skipped, most adults with diabetes did visit primary care physicians.  I argued that these findings suggest that screening for diabetic retinopathy in primary care settings using telemedicine has the potential to fulfill unmet needs and reach most U.S. adults with diabetes. My brief report in JAMA Ophthalmology examines patterns of eye examination receipt and visits to primary care physicians among U.S. adults with diabetes using a sample from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey.  The report pays particular attention to individuals who are at high-risk of missing recommended eye exams. The study found that 87.7% of the sample of adults with diabetes visited a primary care physician in the past year and that, except for the uninsured subgroup, more than 78% of each high-risk subgroup visited a primary care provider in the past year.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Sleep Disorders / 28.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chiyori Haga, R.N. P.H.N Ph.D Department of Community Nursing Graduate School of Health Science Okayama University in Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In Japan, we have a health checkup system for middle and elderly people to prevent their non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and give them some health guidance based a guideline. The guideline has suggested that short duration between bed time and dinner time will be a risk factor of metabolic syndrome or diabetes mellitus for some duration. However, there may be no association between them, it is the main findings.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 22.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Kirsten Perrett MBBS FRACP PhD Team Leader / Clinician-Scientist Fellow, Population Allergy, Murdoch Children's Research Institute Consultant Paediatrician, Department of Allergy and Immunology and General Medicine The Royal Children's Hospital Fellow, School of Population and Global Health The University of Melbourne Parkville, Victoria  Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Before rotavirus vaccines were available, rotavirus infection was the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children. Because it is so contagious, infection in childhood is thought to be universal in unvaccinated children. Previous studies indicated that rotavirus infection of infants might be an environmental promoter of type 1 diabetes. Therefore, we anticipated that the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine might alter the disease incidence in young children.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Diabetes, JAMA / 15.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dong Hyun Kim M.D. Associate professor Department of Dermatology CHA Bundang Medical Center CHA University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As a dermatologist, we see many patients with newly diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid (BP), many of whom have diabetes. The use of DPP-4 inhibitors is a common treatment for diabetes, we have noted previous case reports that DPP-4 inhibitors may be the cause of BP. For this reason, we started this study. The most important thing in my article is DPP-4 inhibitors, particularly vildagliptin, may be associated with the development of bullous pemphigoid in male patients with diabetes. We have confirmed these points based on the nationwide, population-based study. It is very meaningful because there have been few studies using large sample sizes so far. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics / 15.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juliana CN Chan MD Chair Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics Head, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics Director, Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity Director, Clinical Research Management Office Faculty of Medicine The Chinese University of Hong Kong MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The prevalence of young onset diabetes (YOD) is increasing world-wide with doubling of its prevalence in the last 10 years in many developed nations. Using the Hong Kong Diabetes Register established since 1995, we first reported that 1 in 5 Chinese adults with diabetes were diagnosed before the age of 40 years. These young patients had poor control of multiple risk factors with 1.5 fold higher risk of premature death and cardiovascular-renal complications compared to patients with usual onset of diabetes after the age of 40 (Chan JC et al AJM 2014, Luk A et al Diabetes Care 2014). Due to the multisystem nature of diabetes, we asked the question whether these young patients might have recurrent hospitalizations during their 3-4 decades of complex clinical course. Using a territory-wide diabetes database involving 0.42 million people followed up between 2002 and 2014, we compared the hospitalization rates accrued till the age of 75 years and found that patients with young onset diabetes had the highest hospitalization rates by attained age. Compared to patients with usual onset of diabetes, patients with YOD had 1.8- 6.7 higher risk of hospitalizations due to all-causes, notably renal disease compared to those with usual onset of disease. Amongst patients with young onset diabetes, over one-third of the bed-days were due to mental illness before the age of 40 years. We used mathematical modeling and estimated that intensified risk factor control in YOD can reduce the cumulative bed-days by 30% which can be further reduced by delaying the onset of diabetes. These original data is a wakening call to the community regarding the complex nature of YOD involving interactions amongst environment, lifestyles and personal factors (e.g. genetics, education and socioeconomic status) and the biomedical-psychological-behavioral needs of these high risk population, which if undiagnosed, untreated or suboptimally managed, can have huge economic impacts on health care system and loss of societal productivity, leaving personal suffering aside. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 13.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eugene Yu-Chuan Kang, MD. House Staff, Department of Ophthalmology Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Chang Gung University, School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: More and more patients suffered from diabetes mellitus (DM) around the world, as well diabetic complications such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is one of the major causes of blindness in working-age adults. In addition to the cost of treatment for patients with advanced DR, loss of visual function also yields a great burden to the family and society. For advanced DR, surgical interventions such as retinal laser, intravitreal injection, and vitrectomy are needed. However, those surgical interventions for severe DR can only retard or stop disease progression. If DR can be prevented or slowed by medical treatments, the burden of medical costs for treating severe DR may be decreased. Statin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, was discussed frequently in the recent years. Multiple functions of statins besides their lipid lowering effect were discovered. Previous investigations have reported that statin therapy could reduce mortality rate and decrease risk of cardiovascular diseases. In our study, we wanted to figure out if statin therapy may have any association between diabetic retinopathy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pain Research / 17.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guy Fagherazzi, MSc, PhD, HDR Senior Research Scientist in Digital & Diabetes Epidemiology Center of Research in Epidemiology and Population Health Inserm, Paris-South Paris-Saclay University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Migraine has further been associated with increased risk of overall and specific cardiovascular disease events. Because migraine has also been associated with factors related with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, an association between migraine and diabetes has been hypothesized. We observed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women with active migraine. We also show a linear decrease of migraine prevalence long before and a plateau long after type 2 diabetes diagnosis.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Geriatrics, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 01.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, MD Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Education Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System Institute for Public Health Washington University, St. Louis MO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A lot has changed in the US over the past 15 years including aging, population growth, and increased exposure to risk factors such as obesity, elevated blood pressure, etc. With all of these changes, we wondered, how did the burden of kidney disease change in the United States over the past 15 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Occupational Health / 24.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Night Shift" by Yuchung Chao is licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0Dr. Zhilei Shah PhD Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health Tongji Medical College, Huazhon University of Science and Technology Wuhan,  China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Shift work has progressed in response to changes in economic pressure and greater consumer demand for 24-hour services. There are many economic advantages to increased shift work, including higher employment, increased services to customers, and improved trade opportunities. Currently, one in five employees in the U.S. works nonstandard hours in the evening, night, or rotating shifts. However, shift work, especially night shift work, has been associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer. Compelling evidence has shown that body weight and lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, diet, and physical activity can influence type 2 diabetes risk. Among shift workers, excess adiposity and increased smoking are frequently and consistently reported, whereas the evidence on physical activity and diet is mixed. Additionally, no previous study has examined the joint associations of rotating night shift work duration and unhealthy lifestyle factors with risk of type 2 diabetes, or evaluated their potential interactions. Therefore, we prospectively assessed the joint association of rotating night shift work and established type 2 diabetes lifestyle risk factors with risk of type 2 diabetes and quantitatively decomposed the proportions of the joint association to rotating night shift work alone, to lifestyle alone and to their interaction in two large US cohorts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Weight Research / 19.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Obesity runs rampant in Indiana." by Steve Baker is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0Haris Riaz MD (Cardiology Fellow Haitham Ahmed MD, MPH , Preventive Cardiologist, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Elevated cholesterol (specially low density lipoprotein) has been causally linked to the development of coronary artery disease whereas the causal relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease has remained controversial. This is important because of increasing epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Mendelian randomization studies provide one way of determining a causal association where we can look at the outcomes of individuals stratified by the presence or absence of a particular allele. Since these alleles are randomly distributed in the population of interest, this is "nature's randomized trial" in that the particular allele is naturally distributed and hence minimal risk of bias. In other words, lets say that I hypothesize that a particular gene "A" is linked with coronary artery disease. If the given gene is indeed causally linked with coronary artery disease, patients with activation of that gene should have significantly greater risk of developing coronary artery disease. Based on these principles, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available evidence and found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes is significantly increased with obesity. Although hypothesis generating, we think that these findings may suggest a causal association between obesity and cardiovascular disease.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Diabetes, JAMA / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Viral Shah, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, Adult Clinic School of Medicine University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cannabis use is increasing in Colorado and many patients with type 1 diabetes (which is an autoimmune form of diabetes that requires life insulin therapy) are using cannabis. Therefore, we surveyed adult patients with type 1 diabetes to study the association between cannabis use and glycemic control and diabetes acute complications (such as diabetic ketoacidosis) in adults with type 1 diabetes. Main findings of the study:  The risk for diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition where body produces high levels of acids called ketones in patients with diabetes)  was two times higher among adults with type 1 diabetes who reported using cannabis in the past 12 months compared to adults with type 1 diabetes who reported not using cannabis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 05.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy Babiuch, M.D. Medical Retina Specialist  |  Cole Eye Institute Assistant Professor Ophthalmology Case Western Reserve University WPSA Regional Focus Committee Chair Cleveland Clinic MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In previous studies, the disorganization of retinal inner layers (DRIL) has demonstrated its ability to help determine visual acuity (VA) prognosis in diabetic macular edema that requires treatment. Given this association, the research group at Cole Eye Institute studied how DRIL may affect VA outcomes in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO) undergoing treatment for secondary macular edema. DRIL is defined as the extent to which there is a failure in the recognition of any of the demarcations between the ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer complex, inner nuclear layer, and outer plexiform layer on optical coherence tomography (OCT). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JACC / 02.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott David Solomon, MD Director, Noninvasive Cardiology Professor, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The sodium glucose transport proteins are known to be important in regulating uptake of glucose. SGLT-1 is predominantly located in the gut and is responsible for uptake of glucose and galactose in the small intestine. Individuals born with severe mutations of this gene have severe malabsorption syndrome. We looked at genetic variants that lead to reduced function of the protein, but not complete loss of function, in a large cohort of individuals in the NIH funded Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. We found that those with mutations in the gene had reduced glucose uptake, as measured by an oral glucose tolerance test, as well as less obesity, diabetes, heart failure and death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gluten, Lancet, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 21.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Knud Josefsen, senior researcher Bartholin Institute, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen K, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In a large population of pregnant women, we found that the risk of the offspring being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 15.6 years (the follow up period) was doubled in the group of women ingesting the highest amounts of gluten (20-66 g/day) versus the group of women ingesting the lowest amounts of gluten (0-7 g/day). For every additional 10 grams of gluten ingested, the risk for type 1 diabetes in the child increased by a factor of 1.31. It the sense that it was a hypothesis that we specifically tested, we were not surprised. We had seen in animal experiments that a gluten-free diet during pregnancy protected the offspring from diabetes, and we wanted to see if we could prove the same pattern in humans. There could be many reasons why we would not be able to show the association, even if it was there (sample size, low quality data, covariates we could not correct for and so on), but we were off course pleasantly surprised that we found the association that we were looking for, in particular because it is quite robust (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luca A. Lotta, MD, PhD Senior Clinical Investigator MRC Epidemiology Unit University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • Drugs that enhance the breakdown of circulating triglycerides by activating lipoprotein lipase (LPL) are in pre-clinical or early-clinical development.
  • It is not known if these drugs will reduce heart attacks or diabetes risk when added to the current first line therapies (statins and other cholesterol-lowering agents).
  • Studying this would require large randomised controlled trials, which are expensive (millions of GBPs) and time-consuming (years).
  • Human genetic data can be used to provide supportive evidence of whether this therapy is likely to be effective by “simulating” a randomised controlled trial.
  • Our study used naturally occurring genetic variants in the general population (study of ~400,000 people) to address this.
  • Individuals with naturally-lower cholesterol due to their genetic makeup were used as model for cholesterol-lowering therapies (eg. Statins).
  • Individuals with naturally-lower triglycerides due to genetic variants in the LPL gene were used as model for these new triglyceride-lowering therapies.
  • We studied the risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes in people in different groups.
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Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, OBGYNE / 12.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Boyd E Metzger, MD Professor Emeritus of Medicine (Endocrinology) Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study showed that higher levels of a mother’s blood sugar during pregnancy are associated with higher risks of increased birthweight, fatter babies, delivery by Cesarean Section, low blood sugar in newborn babies and high levels of insulin in the cord blood at birth. It is not clear whether levels of a mother’s blood sugar during pregnancy are associated with risk obesity later in life as is known to occur in offspring or pre-existing maternal diabetes mellitus. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the HAPO Follow Up Study addressed this in a subset of nearly 5,000 mothers and their children from the original HAPO Study 10-14 years later (average 11.4 years). (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 25.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Chinese baby laying on a bed” by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Wanghong Xu, MD, PhD Professor of Epidemiology School of Public Health Fudan University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis proposes that cardiovascular diseases and other chronic conditions in adulthood may be a consequence of an unfavorable intrauterine life, a relationship that is further modified by patterns of postnatal growth, environment, and lifestyle. Based on the two large-scale cohort studies, the Shanghai Women’s Health Study and the Shanghai Men’s Health Study, we observed nonlinear associations for birth weight with baseline body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and low birth weight was linked with lower BMI, smaller WC, but larger WHR and WHtR. An excess risk of T2DM and hypertension was observed for low birth weight (<2500 g) versus birth weight of 2500-3499 g since baseline and since birth. The results support the DoHad hypothesis, and indicate the importance of nutrition in early life on health in Chinese population.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics / 23.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Sherry L. Voytik-Harbin Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Purdue UniversitySherry L. Voytik-Harbin Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Purdue University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a major health problem affecting over 1.25 children and adults in the United States alone. It also affects our beloved companion animals, with 1 out of every 100 dogs and cats having this condition. T1D results from an autoimmune condition, where the patient’s body, by mistake, attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas (β cells) that are responsible for regulating blood glucose levels by producing insulin. While injectable insulin represents the standard of care for these patients, it provides an inferior control system relative to functional β cells, leaving the majority of patients at risk for life-threatening complications. Although transplantation of pancreatic islets, which contain replacement β cells, via portal vein injection into the liver, is an attractive therapeutic alternative for these patients, persistent risks and challenges preclude its more widespread clinical adoption. These include rapid destruction and loss of function of the majority of donor cells upon transplantation and the need for life-long immunosuppression. This study evaluated a novel packaging strategy for the delivery and maintenance of functional donor islets beneath the skin, resulting in rapid and extended reversal of T1D in diabetic mice.  (more…)