Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JACC, Stanford / 27.01.2017 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 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 Interview with: Arch G. Mainous III, PhD HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health 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 Interview with: Robin Gelburd, JD President FAIR Health 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 Interview with: Dr Marcus Lind Associate Professor of Diabetology at the University of Gothenburg Gothenburg, Sweden Chief Physician of Diabetology, Uddevalla Hospital Uddevalla, Sweden 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 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 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 Interview with: Dr Toby Pillinger MA(Oxon) BM BCh MRCP Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience King's College London 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 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 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 Interview with: Dr. Hanna Honkanen PhD University of Tampere. 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 Interview with: Joseph Dieleman, PhD Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington Seattle, WA 98121 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 Interview with: Dr. Don Gary Benjamin Biozentrum, University of Basel Basel, Switzerland. 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 Interview with: Matthew J. Crowley, MD, MHS Assistant Professor of Medicine Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute Duke University Medical Center 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 Interview with: Marshall B. Elam PhD MD Professor Pharmacology and Medicine (Cardiovascular Diseases) University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Memphis 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 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 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 Interview with: Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Center for Neurodegenerative Science Van Andel Research Institute 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 Interview with: 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 Interview with: Amit Akirov, MD Institute of Endocrinology Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Hospital Petach Tikva, Israel 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 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 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 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 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…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Nutrition, PLoS, University of Michigan / 06.11.2016 Interview with> Katarina Borer, Ph.D. Professor Po-Ju Lin,PhD School of Kinesiology The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI What is the background for this study? Response: This study was part of the doctoral dissertation of Po-Ju Lin, who is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester. With this study, we wanted to answer three questions: (1) Is daily carbohydrate load responsible for evening glucose intolerance and post-meal insulin resistance. (Evening glucose intolerance represents well-documented higher glucose and insulin responses in the evening than in the morning when the same quantity of glucose is eaten or infused intravenously) To answer this question we offered two daily meals containing about 800 Kcal and either 30% or 60% of carbohydrates. (2) Will exercise before the meals improve glucose tolerance (glucose clearance from the blood and insulin response) after eating? (Exercise is a well-known means of increasing glucose uptake by the muscle and of increasing muscle sensitivity to insulin action for a number of hours after exercise). To answer this question we had the subjects exercise for two hours walking on a treadmill at 45% of their maximal aerobic effort one hour before each meal. (3) Is the upper-intestinal hormone GIP involved in any effects associated with variation in dietary carbohydrate? (GIP or glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, stimulates insulin secretion in advance of absorbed glucose). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 04.11.2016 Interview with: Patrick M. O'Neil, Ph.D. Director, Weight Management Center Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC 29425 What is already known about the subject? • Even modest weight loss (2-5%) from clinical interventions improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. • Commercial weight loss programs, comparatively more affordable and accessible than clinic-based modalities, can produce weight losses in this range, although they typically do not offer diabetes-specific counseling. • Data are sparse on such programs’ effects on glycemic control for adults with T2DM. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Electronic Records / 04.11.2016 Interview with: Lee Kallenbach, PhD, MPH Principal Investigator Practice Fusion What is the background for this study? Response: Clinical inertia, or the tendency for patients and providers to continue using the same course of treatment even when clinical markers may suggest that treatment intensification is necessary, is an ongoing factor that can contribute to inadequate diabetes care. This is especially true when the treatment intensification may involve a switch from an oral medication to an injectable medication. It is less challenging for a patient to take a pill than it is to give themselves a shot. Even with all the new diabetes treatments available, clinical inertia is still common among patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes (T2D). To further understand the extent of clinical inertia among patients with T2D, the study assessed treatment intensification patterns and associated demographic and clinical characteristics for patients with uncontrolled T2D who were already taking two or more oral anti-diabetes medications. The study consisted of a retrospective observational analysis leveraging data from Practice Fusion’s de-identified clinical database, which includes more than 38 million records, representing 6.7 percent of all practices across the United States.1 Using a cohort of 25,365 de-identified records, we studied the care given by providers in independent practices to patients in need of intensifying their antidiabetic therapy for managing T2D. To our knowledge, this is one of the largest real world evidence (RWE) studies of T2D that has leveraged a de-identified clinical database from an electronic health record (EHR) platform. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Exercise - Fitness, Nutrition / 18.10.2016 Interview with: Andrew Reynolds Department of Human NutritionUniversity Otago Dunedin New Zealand What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Current guidelines for people with type 2 diabetes are to undertake activities such as walking for at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day. When to walk in the day is not specified. We thought it reasonable that walking after meals would improve blood sugars more so than a walk where the timing was unspecified. Our randomised controlled trial considered exactly this, a prescription to walk as per the guideline of 30 minutes a day and a prescription to walk for 10 minutes after each meal. Our participants were free-living, but wore accelerometers to record their movement, and continuous glucose monitoring systems to observe their blood glucose levels. We found that post-meal blood sugar levels dropped 12 per cent on average when the participants followed the walking after meals advice compared to walking at any time of the day. Most of this effect came from the highly significant 22 per cent reduction in blood sugar when walking after evening meals, which were the most carbohydrate heavy, and were followed by the most sedentary time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics / 14.10.2016 Interview with: Tuure Kinnunen, MD, PhD Academy Research Fellow School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland Kuopio, Finland What is the background for this study? Response: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. It typically manifests in childhood and early adolescence. Diabetes-associated autoantibodies are highly predictive of type 1 diabetes risk and they can be typically detected in the blood of patients even years before the onset of the disease. Follicular helper T cells are a recently described type of immune cells that have a central role in activating B cells, which in turn are responsible for producing antibodies. Since the emergence of autoantibodies is a common feature of type 1 diabetes development, it is plausible that follicular T helper cells have a role in the disease process. This notion is also supported by evidence recently generated in the murine models of type 1 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA / 03.10.2016 Interview with: Dr. Saeid Shahraz Assistant Professor of Medicine Tufts Medical Center What is the background for this study? Response: American Diabetes Association (ADA) has set up a lower cut point for diagnosing prediabetes ( those with Impaired Fasting  Glucose   100 mg/dL) compared to the World Health Organization's cut point, which is 110 mg/dL. This arbitrariness in cut point definition triples the number of cases labeled as prediabetes. Along with lowering the diagnostic threshold by the ADA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the ADA endorsed and advertised a web-based risk model to define high-risk population for prediabetes. The risk engine asks a few questions ( age, sex, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, physical activity and weight) and outputs a score that defines if the person is at risk for prediabetes. We suspected that the risk engine might overestimate the risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, NIH, OBGYNE / 21.09.2016 Interview with: Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator NICHD, National Institutes of Health What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pregnant women are at high risk of developing depressive symptoms; at least 10% US women suffering from depression during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a common pregnancy complication, affecting 4-7% of pregnancies in the U.S..  Gestational diabetes has  adverse health implications on both women and their children.   Depression and glucose intolerance commonly co-occur among non-pregnant individuals; however, the temporal relationship between gestational diabetes and depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period is less understood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Outcomes & Safety / 21.09.2016 Interview with: Victor M. Montori, MD MSc Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit in Endocrinology Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota What is the background for this study? Response: Hypoglycemia can acutely disrupt patients’ lives through symptoms ranging from bothersome to life-threatening; worsen quality of life; and hinder medication adherence and glycemic control. Hypoglycemia is now known to increase risk of mortality, cognitive impairment, and cardiovascular events. In order to improve the quality of diabetes care, healthcare organizations use publicly reported performance measures for quality measurement and improvement, and pay-for-performance initiatives. The degree to which existing performance measures are aligned with guidelines, particularly in regard to hypoglycemia avoidance, is uncertain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Hormone Therapy / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Jon Rasmussen, MD, PhD fellow Department of Internal Medicine Herlev Hospital, Denmark What is the background for this study? Response: Abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids has become highly prevalent among young men involved in recreational strength training. A recent meta-analysis estimated that approximately 18% of young men involved recreational strength training abuse anabolic steroids. Well-known adverse effects following abuse of anabolic steroids include hypogonadism (For those who have interest, we have recently published a paper concerning this issue, it can be read and downloaded at: Yet, we have a poor understanding on the adverse effects these compounds might have on the metabolism and insulin sensitivity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, OBGYNE / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Anastasia Katsarou PhD LUND University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study is using data from the Mamma study which screened pregnant women during 2003-2005. During this period, we gathered results from the oral glucose tolerance tests that the women underwent at the 28th week of pregnancy. We used data on the 2hour blood glucose levels from these tests and the frequency of women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes and grouped them into months and seasons. We gathered also data on the mean monthly temperatures from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. We observed that the 2hour glucose levels and the frequency of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes were statistically significantly higher during the summer months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Diabetes, Pancreatic / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Dr. Pavel Škrha Charles University, Prague Czech Republic What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Incidence of pancreatic cancer (PAC) is still increasing. The main problem is in the late diagnosis of the cancer. It was found, that diabetes mellitus was much more frequent in the pancreatic cancer patients than in the general population. DM can be already the first symptom of the disease (secondry T3cDM). In our study nearly 80 % of all the pancreatic cancer patients had DM/prediabetes and it was of new-onset (less than 2 years before the cancer diagnosis) in 73 % out of them. We have measured the current marker of PAC (CA 19-9) together with serum microRNA-196 and -200 (that we have chosen in the previous pilot study). All the markers were significantly elevated in the pancreatic cancer patients, without any difference between the subgroups according to DM presence/absence. While the sensitivity of CA 19-9 alone (to detect the cancer) was 85 % (specificity 73 %), combining all the three markers improved it to 95 % (specificity 77 %). In the pancreatic cancer group, there were only six patients with T1 or T2 stage (others had an advanced stage of the disease - T3, T4). While CA 19-9 alone identified only 2 patients of them, the combined test identified all the six patients (data not shown in the poster). (more…)