Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Technology / 21.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: José Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology University of Coimbra, Portugal President of AIBILI Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmic Research Coordinator, Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases, European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.net)  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In this study, we evaluated the clinical utility of quantitative measures of microvasculature in optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA). Although several studies have demonstrated the potential value of measures of microvasculature in the management of diabetic retinopathy (DR), our study uses the ROC curve to compare the overall value of different approaches. In this age matched population with a range of disease, the mean vessel density measured in the SRL had the highest AUC, indicating that it is best among the methods tested at differentiating normal eyes from eyes with diabetic retinopathy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gender Differences, Lipids / 16.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mark Jones, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health The University of Queensland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Multiple clinical trials have shown statins reduce LDL cholesterol, cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality. However statins are also associated with adverse events, including type 2 diabetes. There have been very few older women included in statin trials hence effects of the drug in this population are somewhat uncertain. Also, more generally, results from clinical trials may not translate well into clinical practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Pediatrics / 16.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Constadina Panagiotopoulos, MD, FRCPC Department of Pediatrics, Endocrinology & Diabetes Unit British Columbia Children’s Hospital Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I decided to conduct this study after observing a few cases of severe acute kidney injury (AKI) in children hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) (with two patients requiring dialysis) while on call in the 18 months prior to initiating the study. While caring for these patients, I scanned the literature and realized that aside from 2 published case reports, there had been no large-scale systematic studies assessing AKI in children with DKA. It immediately became apparent to me that managing patients with AKI and DKA was more challenging. On presentation to hospital, many of these children with DKA present quite volume depleted but fluid management is conservative because of the risk for cerebral edema. One of the most important management strategies for acute kidney injury in patients with DKA is early detection and correcting volume depletion in a timely manner to prevent further injury. I discussed my observations and these clinical cases with pediatric nephrologist and co-investigator Dr. Cherry Mammen, a pediatric AKI expert, and he confirmed my initial literature review findings. Thus, we decided to conduct this study to better understand the scope of the problem and any associated risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Diabetes / 07.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria L. Alva, DPhil Public Health Economics Program RTI International 701 13 Street, NW, Suite 750 Washington, DC 20005  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Diabetes affects more than 25 percent of Americans over 65. The estimated economic cost of diagnosed diabetes is $245 billion a year. In spite of this we have almost no evidence of the impact of programs geared to stave off the cost of diabetes. The Y-USA received a Health Care Innovation Award of $11.8 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to offer a diabetes prevention program to individuals 65 and over with prediabetes. The goal of the Y-USA model is to get participants to lose 5 percent or more of their body weight and gradually increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week.  The program lasts a year. The curriculum comprises sixteen weekly core sessions about healthy eating, exercise and motivation followed by eight monthly maintenance sessions. Epidemiological data from other studies have shown that the risk of diabetes increases with increased levels of BMI. There is mounting evidence that it is possible to prevent or delay diabetes through life-style intervention. It is unclear, however, whether weight-loss interventions can yield reductions in medical spending. The objective of our analysis was to establish whether the -USA Diabetes Prevention Program reduces health care spending and utilization among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Melanoma / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reeti Behera, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow in the Weeraratna lab The Wistar Institute Philadelphia PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Malignant melanoma is an aggressive disease and is the cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths. In particular, older individuals have a much poorer prognosis for melanoma and are more resistant to targeted therapy than compared to young individuals. A recently published study from our lab has shown that age-related changes in secreted factors in the microenvironment can drive melanoma progression and therapy resistance. Klotho is a protein whose expression levels decreases with aging. In this study, we have shown that a decrease in klotho levels in the aged microenvironment drives melanoma aggression and therapy resistance by promoting the oncogenic signaling pathway Wnt5A. We also have shown that reconstituting klotho levels in the aged microenvironment by using rosiglitazone, an FDA-approved drug used to treat diabetes, can reduce tumor burden in aged mice. We also show that Klotho expression is decreased in therapy-resistant melanoma tumors. Reconstituting klotho levels in therapy-resistant melanoma cells by treating with rosiglitazone can inhibit Wnt5A levels and MAPK pathway. We also show that rosiglitazone can significantly decrease therapy-resistant tumor burden in the aged mice, but not in the young. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics / 28.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD Conrad M. Riley Professor of Epidemiology and Pediatrics Director, Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) Center University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO 80045 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: These recent increasing trends in type 1 and 2 diabetes diagnosed in young individuals raise the question of whether the pattern of complications differs by diabetes type at similar ages and diabetes duration. The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Stud, looked at five health complications and co-morbidities of diabetes, including: retinopathy, diabetic kidney disease, peripheral, arterial stiffness and high blood pressure. The researchers studied 1,746 adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes and 272 with type 2 diabetes diagnosed when < 20 years, with a similar average duration of 7.9 years and at a similar age of 21 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Research / 21.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. Michael Roden Director, German Diabetes Center (DDZ) Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Chair/Professor, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Director, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology University Hospital Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) continue to increase at an alarming rate. Their occurrence has been associated with intake of saturated fats, for example that of palm oil. This study aimed to shed light on how dietary fat initiates metabolic changes which lead to the aforementioned diseases. To this end we provided 14 young healthy volunteers an oral dose of palm oil or placebo randomly, in a crossover manner, with an 8-week washout period between each intervention. One acute dose of palm oil leads to insulin resistance in the main insulin sensitive tissues of the body: the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. In the liver, it also results in increased accumulation of triglycerides, increased production of glucose from lipid and amino acid precursors (rather than from glycogen), and increased energy metabolism, as denoted by increased hepatic adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. Moreover, a similar experiment in mice revealed that one dose of palm oil differentially regulates genes and pathways which are known or suspected regulators of NAFLD, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), members of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, OBGYNE / 18.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sophie Jacqueminet Praticien Hospitalier Service de Diabétologie Pole Cardio Métabolisme Hôpitaux Universitaires Pitié Salpêtrière - Charles Foix MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The proportion of women who are overweight or obese is increasing in almost all countries worldwide, and this is being accompanied by an increased risk of developing both type 2 diabetes (T2D) (whether pregnant or not) and gestational diabetes (GDM). While other studies have analysed the links between GDM and adverse outcomes in babies, very large studies that draw on an entire national database, study, are rare. In our research, all 796,346 deliveries taking place after 22 weeks in France in 2012 were included by extracting data from the hospital discharge database and the national health insurance system. Outcomes were analysed according to the type of diabetes and, in the GDM group, whether or not diabetes was insulin-treated. The cohort of 796,346 deliveries involved 57,629 (7.24%) mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus. Data linking the mother to the child were available for 705,198 deliveries (88% of the total). The risks of adverse outcomes were two to four times higher for babies of mothers with type 2 diabetes before pregnancy (pregestational diabetes) than for those with GDM. We then adjusted our data, limiting the analysis to deliveries after 28 weeks to ensure all women diagnosed with GDM were included (since diagnosis of GDM in most cases takes place at or after 28 weeks). Following adjustment, the increased risk of various complications for mothers with gestational diabetes versus mothers without GDM were: preterm birth 30%; Caesarean section 40%; pre-eclampsia/eclampsia 70%; babies born significantly larger than average size (macrosomia) 80%; respiratory distress 10%; birth trauma 30%; and cardiac malformations 30%. While these increased risks combine women with both insulin- and diet-treated GDM, most of the increased risk is found in women with insulin-treated GDM. This is because as stated above, the diabetes is more serious and blood sugar more difficult to control in women who need insulin treatment, resulting in a higher risk of complications than in those women treated with diet only. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Diabetes, Melanoma / 13.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bin Zheng, PhD Assistant Professor Cutaneous Biology Research Center Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Charlestown, MA 02129  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer with more than 75,000 newly diagnosed cases in the US each year. Over the years, various genetic driver mutations have been identified that cause melanoma, including mutations in the genes BRAF and NRAS. Recent genetic insights into the development of melanoma showed that also mutations in NF1 can lead to melanoma. While there are targeted therapies available for BRAF-mutant melanoma, thus far no such therapies are available for NF1-mutant melanoma. We identified that using a combination of an ERK inhibitor, SCH772984, and the antidiabetic drug phenformin could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for NF1-mutatnt melanomas. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 07.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mary E. Lacy, MPH Department of Epidemiology Brown University School of Public Health Providence, RI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hemoglobin A1c (A1C) is a blood test that is used to screen for and monitor diabetes. It measures average blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months. A person with sickle cell trait is a carrier for sickle cell disease but often doesn’t have any clinical symptoms. African Americans are more likely than Whites to have diabetes and are more likely to have sickle cell trait. In this article we examined if A1C can be interpreted in the same way in people with and without sickle cell trait. We found that, despite similar results on other measures of blood sugar control, people with sickle cell trait had lower A1C results than people without sickle cell trait. This means that A1C may underestimate diabetes risk in people with sickle cell trait. We also found that, when using standard A1C cutoffs to screen for disease prevalence, we identified 40% fewer cases of prediabetes and 48% fewer cases of diabetes in individuals with sickle cell trait than in those without sickle cell trait. To me, this finding really underscores the potential clinical impact that the observed underestimation of A1C in those with sickle cell trait could have. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Lipids, Pharmacology, Weight Research / 30.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gianluca Iacobellis MD PhD Professor of Clinical Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department of Medicine University of Miami, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that epicardial fat, the visceral fat of the heart, is associated with coronary artery disease, diabetes and obesity. My studies have shown that epicardial fat can be easily measured with non invasive imaging procedures. Remarkably, epicardial fat has recently emerged as therapeutic target responding to medications targeting the fat. Liraglutide, a GLP-1 analog has shown to provide modest weight loss and beneficial cardiovascular effects beyond its glucose lowering action. So , we sought to evaluate the effects of liraglutide on epicardial fat. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JACC, Stanford / 27.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fumiaki Ikeno M.D. Program Director (U.S.) Japan Biodesign Stanford Biodesign Medical Director/Research Associate Experimental Interventional Laboratory Division of Cardiology Stanford University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We sought to determine whether the extent of coronary disease in terms of the number of lesions and their complexity in Type 2 Diabetes patients could predict major cardiovascular events, and hypothesized that revascularization would have greater effectiveness relative to medical therapy among patients with more number of lesions and higher complexity in coronary artery disease. Coronary bypass surgery, catheter-based treatment, and medical therapy all had similar cardiovascular outcomes among patients with less complexity of coronary artery disease who had type 2 diabetes mellitus, stable ischemic heart disease, and no prior coronary revascularization. Among patients with mid or high complexity coronary artery disease, coronary revascularization with bypass surgery significantly reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events during 5 years of follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 27.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arch G. Mainous III, PhD HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As our post-industrial society becomes more and more sedentary, there is a concern that a lack of activity is associated with poor health outcomes like diabetes. At the same time, the medical community has a strong focus on determining whether patients are overweight or obese as a way to classify them as  being at higher risk for poor health outcomes. However, individuals at a “healthy weight” in general, are considered to be at low risk. Some recent studies have shown that many individuals at “healthy weight” are not metabolically healthy. How then might we predict who at “healthy weight” would be unhealthy? We hypothesized that individuals at “healthy weight” who had a sedentary lifestyle would be more likely to have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robin Gelburd, JD President FAIR Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For more than 20 years, an epidemic of obesity has been contributing to increasing rates of type 2 diabetes in the United States. During at least part of that period, both conditions have been found to be rising in young people as well as adults. Using our FAIR Health database of billions of privately billed healthcare claims, we sought to ascertain recent trends in obesity and obesity-related conditions (including type 2 diabetes) in the national, privately insured, pediatric population, which we defined as spanning the ages from 0 to 22 years. Our study period was the years 2011 to 2015. We found that claim lines with a diagnosis of obesity increased across the pediatric population during the study period. The largest increase among pediatric patients was 154 percent, in the age group 19 to 22 years. Claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis more than doubled in the pediatric population, increasing 109 percent. In most pediatric age groups, claim lines with an obesity diagnosis occurred more often in females than in males; by contrast, claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis were more common for males than females in most pediatric age groups. Other conditions associated with obesity also increased in claim lines among young people. The conditions included obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension, both of which were more common in claim lines for males than females. We also compared the percent of claim lines for pediatric type 2 diabetes diagnoses to the percent of claim lines for all pediatric medical claims by state. Using that standard, pediatric type 2 diabetes was most prevalent in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Utah and South Dakota. It was least prevalent in New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Hawaii and Rhode Island. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Technology / 23.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Marcus Lind Associate Professor of Diabetology at the University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden Chief Physician of Diabetology, Uddevalla Hospital Uddevalla, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This was a randomized trial over 16 months (cross-over study with 26 weeks of each treatment and a between wash-out period of 17 weeks) of 161 persons with type 1 diabetes. The main purpose was to evaluate whether a “diabetes tool”, denoted continuous glucose monitoring improves the glycaemic control, known to be essential to lower risks for diabetic complications such as injuries on eyes, kidneys, nerves and the cardiovascular system. The study also evaluated whether the glucose could be stabalised, i.e. having less fluctutations (beside the average level per se) and whether well-being, treatment satisfaction and feeling more confident in the daily living to avoid low glucose values which lead influence the cognitive function and can lead to unconciousness. Earlier trials exist of this therapy in connection to insulin pumps. But it has not been tested in randomized trials with persons only using multiple daily insulin injections to administer insulin which is the most common therapy among adults with type 1 diabetes. Another novelty is that the current CGM-system (DexCom G4) has earlier shown a high accuracy and positive treatment experience among persons with type 1 diabetes, but it has not been tested in long-term randomized trials. Of note this trial was performed among adults with type 1 diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a system where the patient has a sensor subcutaneously that he/she easily can change every week. It estimates the glucose level every minute and shows values on a hand-held small monitor (size of a small cell-phone) and whether the glucose levels are rising or declining. The hypothesis with the study is that if the patient has continuous information of the glucose level and trends it will improve treatment variables. The comparison group was that patients got information of their glucose control via capillary finger sticks which has been the general treatment for a long time period but can only be made at certain occasions since a procedure where blood must be taken from the finger tips. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JCEM, Microbiome / 20.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Lorenzo Piemonti, MD Professor of Endocrinology Deputy Director, Diabetes Research Institute (SR-DRI) Head, Beta Cell Biology Unit Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute Milano Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The potential role of gut inflammation and microbiome is becoming a hot topic in the field of diabetes. Several very recent publications report the presence of intestinal abnormalities associated with autoimmune diabetes in both experimental rodent models and patients. We have previously published that, compared to healthy subjects, patients with type 1 diabetes or at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes shows increased intestinal permeability. Among the factors that may modify the intestinal barrier and impact on its immune activation, the gut microbiota is at present the main suspect. Our study is the first in literature that had the opportunity to analyze the inflammatory profile, the microbiome and their correlation on duodenum biopsies of patients with type 1 diabetes, in comparison with patients with celiac disease and healthy controls. Previous papers pointed out a significant difference in the composition of the stool microflora in subjects with autoimmune diabetes. A major advancement of our work comes from the direct analysis of small intestine, instead of studies on stool samples. In fact, because of their close functional and spatial relationships, as well as a shared blood supply, it is logical to consider the duodenum and the pancreas correlated. We found big differences among the groups: gut mucosa in diabetes shows a peculiar signature of inflammation, a specific microbiome composition and we also discovered a strong association between some analysed inflammatory markers and specific bacteria genera. We think that our data add an important piece to disentangle the complex pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes and more generally of autoimmune diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 13.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Toby Pillinger MA(Oxon) BM BCh MRCP Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience King's College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our meta-analysis has provided strong evidence that compared with healthy controls, individuals with early schizophrenia are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, even when the effects of antipsychotic drugs, diet and exercise are taken out of the equation. Schizophrenia is associated with a dramatically reduced life expectancy, with individuals dying up to 30 years earlier than the general population. Approximately 60% of this excess mortality is due to physical health disorders such as heart attack or stroke, for which diabetes is a major risk factor. People with long-term schizophrenia are 3 times more likely than the general population to have diabetes, something that has previously been blamed on poor diet and exercise habits, as well as the use of antipsychotic medication. However, the link between schizophrenia and diabetes was first made back in the 19th century, long before the use of antipsychotics, and in an era where diets were less likely to cause diabetes. This could suggest that there is a causative link between schizophrenia and diabetes. Our meta-analysis examined whether diabetes risk is already raised in people at the onset of schizophrenia, before antipsychotics have been prescribed and before a prolonged period of illness that may be associated with poor diet and sedentary behaviour. We pooled data from 16 studies comprising 731 patients and 614 individuals from the general population. We collated blood data examining fasting blood glucose levels, blood glucose levels following the oral glucose tolerance test, fasting insulin levels and degree of insulin resistance. We demonstrated that compared with healthy controls, individuals with early schizophrenia had raised fasting glucose, raised levels of glucose following the oral glucose tolerance test, raised fasting insulin and elevated insulin resistance. Furthermore, these results remained statistically significant even when we restricted our analyses to studies where individuals with schizophrenia were matched to healthy controls with regards their diet, the amount of exercise they engaged in and their ethnic background. This suggests that our results were not wholly driven by differences in lifestyle factors or ethnicity between the two groups, and may therefore point towards a direct role for schizophrenia in increasing risk of diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 13.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Abhinav Sharma MD Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Renato D. Lopes, MD, PhD, MHS Duke Clinical Research Institute Durham, NC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) has been demonstrated to be a risk factor for cardiovascular death; however, there is growing research suggesting that IFG also increases the risk of non-cardiovascular deaths such as cancer. The data on the distribution of causes of death among patients with impaired fasting glucose and cardiovascular risk factors have not been described. Our analysis used data from the Nateglinide and Valsartan in Impaired Glucose Tolerance Outcomes Research (NAVIGATOR) trial. We identified that while myocardial death is the most common adjudicated cause of death, overall, non-cardiovascular deaths were more common that cardiovascular deaths. Among non-cardiovascular, cancer deaths were the most common cause of death. Furthermore, the burden of non-cardiovascular deaths increases relative to cardiovascular death over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Infections, Pediatrics / 11.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hanna Honkanen PhD University of Tampere. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The association between enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes has been suggested for long and analyzed in several studies. However, only few studies have been able to study this association at the time when the disease process starts, which happens several months or years before type 1 diabetes is diagnosed. Our study made this possible since it was based on a large cohort of children who were followed from birth and samples were collected already before the disease process had started (prospective DIPP-study in Finland). Enterovirus infections were detected by analyzing the presence of viral nucleic acids in longitudinal stool sample series. Infections were found more frequently in case children who developed islet autoantibodies compared to control children. This excess was detected several months before islet autoimmunity appeared. This study is the largest such study carried out so far. The results suggest that enterovirus infections may contribute to the initiation of the disease process that eventually leads to type 1 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Diabetes, JAMA / 05.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph Dieleman, PhD Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington Seattle, WA 98121 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The objective of this study was to provide a estimate of total health care spending in the United States for an exhaustive list of health conditions, over an extended period of time – from 1996 to 2013. The study primarily focuses on personal health spending, which includes both individual out-of-pocket costs as well as spending by private and government insurance programs on care provided in inpatient and outpatient facilities, emergency departments, nursing care facilities, dentist offices, and also on pharmaceuticals. There were 155 conditions included in the analysis, and spending was also disaggregated by type of care, and age and sex of the patient. In 2013, we accounted for $2.1 trillion in personal health spending in the U.S. It was discovered that just 20 health conditions made up more than half of all dollars spent on health care in the U.S. in 2013, and spending for each condition varied by age, sex and type of care. Diabetes was the most expensive condition, totaling $101 billion in diagnoses and treatments, growing at an alarmingly rate – a 6.5% increase per year on average. Ischemic heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S., ranked the second most expensive at $88.1 billion, followed by low back and neck pain at $87.6, treatment of hypertension at $83.9 billion, and injury from falls at $76.3. Women aged 85 and older spent the most per person in 2013, at more than $31,000 per person. More than half of this spending (58%) occurred in nursing facilities, while 20% was expended on cardiovascular diseases, 10% on Alzheimer’s disease, and 7% on falls. Men ages 85 and older spent $24,000 per person in 2013, with only 37% on nursing facilities, largely because women live longer and men more often have a partner at home to provide care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Diabetes, Pharmacology, Science / 05.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Don Gary Benjamin Biozentrum, University of Basel Basel, Switzerland. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We initiated the study to find a co-drug that would increase the anti-cancer effect of the commonly prescribed anti-diabetic drug metformin. Metformin is a very well tolerated medication, however the dosage required to show anti-cancer activity is higher than that usually prescribed, hence the aim of the study. We found that metformin in combination with a second drug, syrosingopine (an anti-hypertensive), potently kills cancer cells in a variety of pre-clinical models. Quite nicely, both these drugs combine to kill the cells at a concentration where they have no impact on cell growth when applied singly. (more…)
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Duke, Heart Disease, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Pharmacology / 04.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew J. Crowley, MD, MHS Assistant Professor of Medicine Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although metformin is widely considered to be the first-line drug for type 2 diabetes, concerns about lactic acidosis have traditionally limited its use in some populations. However, FDA now indicates that metformin may be used safely for patients with mild-moderate chronic kidney disease and other historical contraindications like congestive heart failure. With the lactic acidosis question addressed for these groups, this review asked “what do we know about how metformin affects mortality and other outcomes for patients with historical contraindications and precautions?” The main take-home message is that metformin appears associated with lower mortality in patients with mild-moderate chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and chronic liver disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 29.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marshall B. Elam PhD MD Professor Pharmacology and Medicine (Cardiovascular Diseases) University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Memphis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This manuscript presents the findings of extended follow up of patients with Type 2 Diabetes who were treated with fenofibrate, a member of a group of triglyceride lowering medications known as fibrates or PPAR alpha agonists, as part of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in T2DM (ACCORD) study. ACCORD was designed to test the effect of intensive treatment of cardiovascular risk factors including blood glucose, blood pressure and lipids on risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiac death in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. The lipid arm of ACCORD tested the hypothesis that adding fenofibrate to statin therapy would further reduce risk of these cardiovascular events. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Exercise - Fitness, Lifestyle & Health / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bernard M Duvivier  Department of Human Biology and Movement Science NUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre Maastricht, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: The health benefits of exercise have been well established but sitting is a risk factor for health, independent of exercise. As many people with type 2 diabetes don’t like to exercise we investigated whether replacing sitting time with light-intensity activities (standing and light walking) is equally effective to exercise when energy expenditure is comparable. Our results suggest that for people with type 2 diabetes, light-intensity activities (light walking and standing) can be an alternative to exercise to improve glucose regulation. In addition we showed that too much sitting has negative effects on insulin sensitivity which could not be fully compensated by 1 hour of exercise per day. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Parkinson's, Science / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Center for Neurodegenerative Science Van Andel Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The investigational drug at the heart of our study, MSDC-0160, has been in development to treat type 2 diabetes by improving cellular metabolism. In Parkinson’s, reductions in cellular metabolism slow down vital housekeeping processes that clear out toxic proteins that otherwise accumulate with age. If these proteins aren’t removed, they clump together, leading to the damage and cell death that causes Parkinson’s hallmark symptoms, such as rigidity and tremor. MSDC-0160 helps keep these housekeeping processes working, ultimately protecting the brain. We demonstrated that MSDC-0160 has strong, reproducible, positive effects across multiple models of Parkinson’s disease—it rescued dopamine-producing cells, improved behavioral deficits in mouse models and reversed inflammation. Overall, we believe it is a strong candidate for repurposing as a potential treatment that actually may slow the disease’s progression, rather than only mitigating symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Nature / 06.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Platypus and Echidnas are the only representative of the unique group of egg-laying mammals. These peculiar animals are human’s most distant relatives amongst living mammals and they have allow unprecedented insights into the evolution of mammals. Many aspect of the biology of these extraordinary mammals are unusual. One of the most remarkable changes is that monotremes lack a functional stomach and lost many genes involved in digestion. This sparked our interest to investigate the Insulin release pathway as a key aspect of blood glucose regulation which is affected in Diabetes. When we identified and characterised the hormone that is central to the release of insulin after a meal (called GLP-1)we were surprised to see it active in gut where is should be but also in the venom gland of platypus and echidna. When we investigated the monotreme GLP-1 further we discovered that this hormone is not degraded in human serum. This is exciting as the human GLP-1 is degraded very rapidly (within minutes) and a major treatment approach in type 2 diabetes is to develop long-lasting GLP-1 variants like the one we discovered in platypus and echidna. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Diabetes, JCEM, Outcomes & Safety / 19.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amit Akirov, MD Institute of Endocrinology Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Hospital Petach Tikva, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As hypoglycemia is common among hospitalized patients with and without diabetes mellitus, we aimed to investigate the association between spontaneous and insulin-related hypoglycemia including severe hypoglycemia and all-cause mortality among a large cohort of hospitalized patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Rheumatology / 16.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof.dr. M.T. Nurmohamed, MD, PhD and Rabia Agca MD Dept. of Rheumatology | VU University Medical Center Amsterdam Rheumatology & immunology Center EULAR center of excellence in rheumatology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 20 years ago the increased mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was well known, but not the causes. In daily clinical practice it seemed that RA patients more frequently suffered from myocardial infarctions than general population persons. Therefore, we started this study more than 15 years ago as at that time there were only sparse data with respect to cardiovascular morbidity in rheumatoid arthritis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Diabetes, JAMA / 08.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tara Gomes, MHSc Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In August 2013, the Ontario government introduced reimbursement limits for blood glucose test strips. Subsequent research has suggested that the provincial government saved $24 million in the first year after implementing this quantity limit policy. This study investigated whether these quantity limits led to any change in diabetes-related patient outcomes. We found that limiting the number of blood glucose test strips reimbursed by the government to levels recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association had to no change in diabetes control (measured as rates of emergency department visits for hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, and mean HbA1c) in the 1.5 years after implementation. Similarly, there was no worsening of patient outcomes in a subgroup of individuals who had been frequent users of test strips prior to the policy being announced. (more…)