Beware: Working for more than 55 hours a week can trigger diabetes

People who work over 55 hours every week in blue collar jobs are at a 30 percent increased risk of developing type II diabetes, according to research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Working for more than 55 hours a week can trigger diabetes

Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects 90 to 95 percent of the 26 million Americans with the disease. Mika Kivimäki, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, UK, and colleagues analyzed data from four published and 19 unpublished studies involving 222,120 adults from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan. For an average of 7.6 years, these individuals were followed.

The researchers found that those who worked more than 55 hours per week at low socioeconomic or manual jobs were about 30 percent more likely to develop type II diabetes, compared to those who worked no more than 40 hours per week.

Although additional research is needed to further identify the link between long working hours and the onset of type II diabetes, other possible explanations need to be explored, including disruptive schedules that interfere with sleep, relaxing, and exercising.

“The pooling of all available studies on this topic allowed us to investigate the association between working hours and diabetes risk with greater precision than has been previously possible. Although working long hours is unlikely to increase diabetes risk in everyone, health professionals should be aware that it is associated with a significantly increased risk in people doing low socioeconomic status jobs,” said Kivimäki in a statement.

Source: daily digest

Benefits of statins slightly outweigh diabetes risk

“Statins increase risk of diabetes, but benefits are still worth it, say experts”.

Benefits of statins slightly outweigh diabetes risk

A large study found the medication lead to a modest increase in weight and subsequent diabetes risk. The authors report that these risks were more than offset by the reduction in cardiovascular disease, but these results were not provided in the study.

The study involved nearly 130,000 people, which found that statin use (used to lower cholesterol levels) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 12% and is associated with weight gain of around quarter of a kilo (half a pound) over four years.

It found indirect evidence that the protein statins target to reduce cholesterol could be at least partly responsible for the effect on type 2 diabetes as well. This evidence was based on looking at the effect of natural genetic variations that affect the protein, and not on a direct analysis of the effect of statins.

Importantly, the authors themselves note that this “should not alter present guidance on prescription of statins for prevention of [CVD]”. They do suggest that lifestyle changes, such as exercise, should be emphasised as still being an important part of heart disease prevention in people who are taking statins. This seems reasonable, and it is likely to be part of what doctors already recommend.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal

Source: NHS

High-Fat Dairy May Lower Diabetes Risk

New Swedish research shows that eating and drinking high-fat dairy products is linked to a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes. This finding appears to contradict current guidance, which recommends people with diabetes choose low-fat dairy products whenever possible.

High-Fat Dairy May Lower Diabetes Risk

The new research was presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). It shows that people who had eight or more portions of high-fat dairy products per day had a 23% lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes than those who had one or fewer portions per day.  The study included 26,930 people (60% women) ages 45-74. During 14 years of follow-up, 2,860 type 2 diabetes cases were spotted. It’s thought that dietary fats could have a crucial role in someone developing type 2 diabetes.

Previous studies have indicated that replacing high levels of saturated fat with “good” unsaturated fats might be the best way to help prevent type 2 diabetes. Some experts suggest plant sources of fat (e.g. spreads made with sunflower or olive oil) as a better choice than animal sources of fat (e.g. butter).

Other studies say that eating and drinking lots of dairy products may be protective. The researchers found that having 1 ounce or more of cream per day was tied to a 15% drop in type 2 risk, compared to having only 0.01 ounce or less per day.

High-fat fermented milk fat, found in yogurts and milk with a regular fat content of around 3%, also cut the risk of getting diabetes by 20%, when comparing people who drank 6 ounces of it per day with those who didn’t drink any.

Eating a lot of meat and meat products was linked with greater risk, though.

In a press release, researcher Ulrika Ericson of Lund University Diabetes Center in Sweden says: “Our findings suggest that in contrast to animal fats in general, fats specific to dairy products may have a role in prevention of type 2 diabetes.”

In a statement, Dr. Richard Elliot, Diabetes UK research communications manager, says: “This study adds to research which suggests that different sources of fat in the diet affect the risk of type 2 diabetes in different ways. However, this does not mean that adding high-fat dairy products to your diet will actively help to protect against type 2 diabetes, and we would not recommend this.

“Consumption of dairy products can form part of a healthy diet, but it’s important to be aware of the amount you consume, as they can be high in calories, which can contribute to becoming overweight, and therefore increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. More research will be needed before we change our advice that the best way to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes is by maintaining a healthy weight through increased physical activity and a balanced diet that is low in salt, saturated fat, and sugar, and rich in fruit and vegetables.”

Source: web md

Myth or fact: Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally?

Diabetes has become a common disease these days just like any other whacky flu, cough and cold. Life is certainly not easy for a diabetic as one has to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout, since there is no cure for the disease.

Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally

Offering a new hope to diabetics, researchers at Assam’s Tezpur University and West Bengal’s Visva-Bharati University have derived that natural extracts from a particular species of the hibiscus plant can help in curing diabetes.

Researchers collected samples of hibiscus leaves from North-East region and conducted tests on diabetic rats. The results showed that a phytochemical (plant-derived compound) from the leaves of Sthalpadma or land-lotus (scientifically known as Hibiscus mutabilis and commonly called Confederate rose) restore insulin levels better.

Samir Bhattacharya, emeritus professor, School of Life Sciences (Zoology Department) at Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan was quoted saying to a news agency: “We found that ferulic acid (FRL), belonging to the polyphenols, extracted from leaves of the plant, has the potential to be a better therapeutic agent for diabetes”.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80% of deaths occurring in developing countries. India has nearly 63 million diabetic patients, with the situation becoming grimmer mainly because of the sedentary lifestyle prevailing across key metros and big cities aggravating the situation. According to a study conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of Indians suffering from this malicious disease is expected to cross the 100 million mark by 2030.

Source: India vision

25 pc of diabetics worldwide live in China

A new study has revealed that 1 in 4 people with diabetes worldwide live in China.

According to the study, diabetes has become a major public health crisis in China, with an annual projected cost of 360 billion RMB (nearly 35 billion British pounds) by 2030 and a new collaborative approach to care that uses registries and community support could help improve diabetes care.

25 pc of diabetics worldwide live in China

The study found that China has the largest number of people with diabetes of any country in the world, and the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the adult population. In 1980, less than 1 percent of Chinese adults had diabetes, but this increased to almost 12 percent (113.9 million adults) by 2010. Latest estimates indicate that around half of Chinese adults have prediabetes, putting them at high risk of diabetes and multiple related illnesses.

The researchers said that especially alarming is that most adults with diabetes are undiagnosed (70 percent of all cases), only a quarter of people with diabetes have received treatment and that the disease is controlled in just 40percent of those treated.

Over the past 30 years, China’s standard of living and life expectancy have improved for many, but the ageing population, dietary changes, reduced physical activity, and exceptionally high rates of smoking have contributed to the diabetes epidemic. The health consequences of this epidemic threaten to overwhelm health-care systems and urgent action is needed.

In future decades, the double burden of an ageing population and rising rates of young-onset diabetes will have an enormous toll on productivity and health-care systems [Paper 1]. Series co-leader Professor Ronald Ma, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, explained that given the increased long-term risk of complications in people with young-onset diabetes, the potential economic and health burden associated with this epidemic is very alarming. In 1993, the cost of diabetes treatment in China was 2.2 billion RMB, but the projected cost for 2030 is 360 billion RMB, which highlights the critical importance of prevention.

The study was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology

Source: yahoo news

For diabetics, losing weight may delay kidney problems

Healthy eating, staying active and losing weight are already recommended for people with type 2 diabetes, and new research suggests these steps may also delay or prevent chronic kidney disease.

For diabetics, losing weight may delay kidney problems

About 35 percent of U.S. adults with diabetes have some degree of kidney disease, and diabetes is the major cause of kidney failure and dialysis, according to the study’s lead author Dr. William C. Knowler.

“This result along with many others tends to reinforce the value of weight loss interventions and hopefully motivates people with diabetes to lose weight,” said Knowler, who is chief of the Diabetes Epidemiology and Clinical Research Section of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland.

He and his co-authors reexamined data from an existing study of lifestyle modifications for people with type 2 diabetes.

For the original study, more than 5,000 overweight or obese Americans with type 2 diabetes ages 45 to 76 were divided into two groups. Half received diabetes support and education and the other half aimed to lose seven percent of their body weight through reduced calorie diets and increased physical activity.

People were recruited for the study between 2001 and 2004. For the first year or so, the weight-loss group met regularly with dieticians, case managers and physical activity experts to stay on track toward their calorie, activity and weight-loss goals.

The study continued, with encouragement to stick to diet and exercise programs, through 2012. As with many weight loss programs, the first year is the critical period for weight loss and later years are spent maintaining it, which can be difficult, Knowler said.

At the one-year mark, the diet and exercise group had lost an average of 8.6 percent of their body weight, compared to less than one percent lost in the support-and-education group.

Over the entire study period, people in the diet and exercise group were 31 percent less likely to develop very high risk chronic kidney disease, according to urine tests.

The study’s primary aim was to investigate the power of weight loss to reduce the risk of heart problems or stroke, and as the researchers published previously, no benefit was seen there.

Knowler emphasized, however, that the weight loss program did improve the outlook for kidney disease and many other aspects of health, including depression, knee pain, urinary incontinence and heart rate recovery after exercise.

Dr. Dick de Zeeuw writes in an accompanying editorial in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology that he found the kidney-health benefit with no heart benefit difficult to reconcile.

de Zeeuw, of the Hiddo Lambers Heerspink Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Groningen in Germany, also writes that using very high risk chronic kidney disease as the marker of success or failure in the study doesn’t line up with what most trials like this would do if a drug were being tested instead of a lifestyle change.

Nevertheless, these results reinforce the existing recommendation that people with type 2 diabetes should maintain a healthy weight, he told Reuters Health.

“In one sense it doesn’t add anything to existing recommendations because for overweight people, weight loss and increased activity are recommended already,” Knowler said. “But we don’t really put a lot of force behind that recommendation.”

For most people, telling them to lose weight and handing out some pamphlets is not enough, he said. This study indicates that an intense program of major behavioral change, including counseling, group session and mutual reinforcement can work.

“Any approach that results in sustained weight loss should work just as well,” Knowler said.

Source: fox news

High-Salt Diets Could Double Risk of Heart Woes for Diabetics

High-Salt Diets Could Double Risk of Heart Woes for Diabetics

A diet loaded with salt is associated with double the risk of heart attack or stroke in people with type 2 diabetes. The risk skyrockets even higher among those whose diabetes isn’t well-managed, a new Japanese study reports.

The study found that people with diabetes who consumed an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had double the risk of developing heart disease than those who consumed, on average, 2.8 grams of sodium daily. In addition, heart disease risk jumped nearly 10-fold for people with poorly managed type 2 diabetes and a diet with excess salt.

However, it’s important to note that this study only found an association between salt intake and increased heart disease; the study wasn’t designed to prove that the increased salt intake actually caused heart disease.

Still, experts believe it’s important to limit salt in the diet.

“The findings are very important from a public health point of view,” said Dr. Prakash Deedwania, chief of cardiology for the Veterans Administration Central California Health Care System and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

“Everyone’s focused on controlling glucose [blood sugar] to prevent diabetes complications. Salt intake is not as well emphasized, but this shows it should be reduced as well,” said Deedwania, a member of the American College of Cardiology’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

The study highlights the need for people with diabetes to track more than just carbohydrates when managing their daily diet, said Deedwania.

Public health officials previously have established a link between diabetes and heart disease. There are about 29 million Americans with diabetes, and they die from heart disease at a rate 1.7 times higher than people without diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Salt — also called sodium — is known to increase blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Accordingly, U.S. nutritional guidelines call for limits on salt intake. Because of the already increased risk of heart disease, people with diabetes should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. People without diabetes should limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams, the CDC says. In the current study, the lowest average was 2.8 grams a day, which equals 2,800 milligrams.

“This is something we have been touting with diabetes patients,” said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Now we have more evidence to solidify our arguments.”

The new study involved nearly 1,600 people, aged 40 to 70, participating in a nationwide study of diabetes complications in Japan. They responded to a survey about their diets, including salt intake, and researchers reviewed data on heart complications participants experienced over the course of eight years.

The investigators found no link between salt intake among diabetics and increased risk of kidney disease, diabetes-related eye problems or death.

Diabetes and salt have similar harmful effects on the cardiovascular system, Mezitis said. Both cause blood vessels to harden, and both increase the risk of blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke.

“Because the vascular complications of diabetes are similar to those of salt, that’s where it becomes doubly as bad,” he said. “The higher the salt intake, the worse the cardiovascular effects we see.”

However, Mezitis cautioned that the study needs to be replicated in America. Japanese patients are not as heavy as Americans, they eat less salt, and they do not take as many cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The study also relied on people’s own reports of salt intake, which could lead to some inaccuracy, said Dr. Robert Carey, a professor of endocrinology at the University of Virginia and spokesman for the Endocrine Society.

“I would not recommend any guideline changes based on this study, but I think this study strongly suggests there may be a relationship with cardiovascular disease and salt intake among diabetics,” Carey said.

Source: health day

Diabetic Diet: 6 Foods That May Help Control Blood Sugar

Diabetic Diet 6 Foods That May Help Control Blood Sugar

Coffee and cinnamon have made headlines recently as foods that might be able to cut the risk of diabetes or help to improve blood sugar levels. But don’t get the idea that such foods are magic bullets for your diabetic diet, experts warn.

“None of this is a magic potion for diabetes,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Cathy Nonas, RD. It’s still important for people with diabetes to eat a balanced diabetic diet and exercise to help manage the disease, she says.

Nevertheless, some foods, such as white bread, are converted almost right away to blood sugar, causing a quick spike. Other foods, such as brown rice, are digested more slowly, causing a lower and gentler change in blood sugar.

If you are trying to follow a healthy diabetic diet, here are six that may help to keep your blood sugar in check.


Oatmeal can help control blood sugar — but don’t get the sweetened kind.

“Even though it’s a carbohydrate, it’s a very good carbohydrate,” American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marisa Moore, RD, LD, tells WebMD. Because it’s high in soluble fiber, “it’s slower to digest and it won’t raise your blood sugar as much or as quickly. It’s going to work better at controlling blood sugar over time.”

Not only does this high-quality carbohydrate offer a steadier source of energy than white bread, it can also help with weight loss. The soluble fiber in oats “helps to keep us feeling fuller longer,” Moore says.

That’s important for people with type 2 diabetes, who tend to be overweight. “If you reduce the weight, you usually significantly improve the glucose control,” Nonas says.

Barley isn’t as popular as oats. But there’s some evidence that barley, which is also high in soluble fiber, may also help with blood glucose control. Kay Behall, PhD, a research nutritionist at the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, has studied barley, and she suggests that people try eating boiled pearl barley in place of rice.

Besides oats and barley, Moore adds, “most whole grains are going to be a great choice for a person with diabetes.”

Broccoli, Spinach, and Green Beans

Add plenty of nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans, to your diabetic diet, diabetes experts say. These foods are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which make them ideal for people with diabetes.

In contrast, starchy vegetables include peas, potatoes, corn, winter squash, and lima beans. There’s no need to cut them from the diet, Moore says. “They do give us additional nutrients. We want to maintain balance.” But because starchy vegetables have more carbohydrates and raise blood sugar more, it’s important to stick to proper portion sizes, she says.

There’s new evidence, too, that vegetables are healthy for people with diabetes.

Source: Web md


Artificial Pancreas Shows Promise in Diabetes Test

Artificial Pancreas

A portable artificial pancreas built with a modified iPhone successfully regulated blood sugar levels in a trial with people who have Type 1 diabetes, researchers reported Sunday.

Type 1 diabetes, which usually starts in childhood or young adulthood, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar levels. Insulin works in conjunction with glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar. Together, they keep blood sugar in a healthy range.

Currently about one-third of people with Type 1 diabetes rely on insulin pumps to regulate blood sugar. They eliminate the need for injections and can be programmed to mimic the natural release of insulin by dispensing small doses regularly.

But these pumps do not automatically adjust to the patient’s variable insulin needs, and they do not dispense glucagon. The new device, described in a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, dispenses both hormones, and it does so with little intervention from the patient.

“The data address some of the most difficult problems in diabetes management,” said Dr. Kevan Herold, director of the Yale Diabetes Center, who was not involved in the study. “I’d say that the effects are quite significant and noteworthy.”

Dr. Fredric E. Wondisford, director of the diabetes institute at Johns Hopkins, also found the results encouraging. “To me, it’s a clear advance,” he said. But he cautioned that the effectiveness and practicality of the device had still not been tested in large numbers of patients over long periods of time. He also raised the issue of cost and insurance coverage.

Treatment of Type 1 diabetes is complicated. Patients not using pumps need two or more insulin injections a day, and all have to monitor blood sugar several times a day by pricking their skin and testing their blood.

Maintaining safe blood sugar levels requires precise adjustments, especially to prevent hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can occur quickly, without the patient’s awareness, and can be a life-threatening emergency.

For patients with adequate treatment, elevated blood sugar is usually not an emergency, but can cause vascular damage over time that can lead to eye problems and amputations.

The artificial pancreas is the latest version of a device that researchers have been refining for several years. The system consists of an iPhone 4S with an attached glucose monitoring device, two pumps, and reservoirs for insulin and glucagon.

A sensor implanted under the skin on one side of the patient’s abdomen measures the glucose in the fluid between the cells, which corresponds closely to blood glucose levels. The sensor delivers the reading to the smartphone, and the phone’s software calculates a dose of insulin and glucagon every five minutes.

The medicine is then pumped through thin tubes to two tiny infusion points embedded just under the skin on the other side of the patient’s abdomen.

The phone also has an app with which a patient can enter information immediately before eating, indicating whether the meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner, and whether the carbohydrate content will be small, large or typical. The device then calculates and dispenses the proper dosages.

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The device still requires a finger stick twice a day to get an accurate blood reading, which the patient enters into the phone.

The developers tested the device over five days in two groups of patients, 20 adults and 32 adolescents, comparing the results with readings obtained with conventional insulin pumps that the participants were using.

The adults in the trial each had the constant attention of a nurse, and they lived in a hotel for the five-day study. Most of the time they were free to travel around and pursue normal activities.

The adolescents, 16 boys and 16 girls, lived under supervision in a summer camp for youths with diabetes.

“We need to do a true home-use study, give people the device and send them home,” said the lead author, Dr. Steven J. Russell, an assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Let them do whatever it is they’re going to do without supervision.”

Several authors of the new report have received payments from medical device companies and hold patents on blood sugar monitoring technology.

The artificial pancreas performed better than the conventional pump on several measures. Among the adolescents, the average number of interventions for hypoglycemia was 0.8 a day with the experimental pump, compared with 1.6 a day with the insulin pumps. Among adults, the device significantly reduced the amount of time that glucose levels fell too low.

And the artificial pancreas worked well at calculating mealtime doses without the patient having to use (often inaccurate) estimates and correct a too high or too low reading after eating.

Much more work needs to be done before the device can be marketed, Dr. Russell said. The senior author, Edward R. Damiano, an associate professor of biomechanical engineering at Boston University, has a 15-year-old son with Type 1 diabetes. He said he was determined to get the new device working and approved in time for his son to go off to college carrying one.

Source: nytimes

One third adults in Britain have prediabetes


Prevalence of prediabetes in England rose rapidly from 2003 to 2011, with one in three adults on the cusp of developing type-2 diabetes, latest figures published in the British Medical Journal have revealed.

Prediabetes is a high risk state for developing diabetes and associated complications.

In their new report, the authors from the University of Florida used data collected by the Health Survey for England in the years 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Participants aged 16 and older, who provided a blood sample, Xinhua reported.

Individuals were classified as having prediabetes if glycated haemoglobin was between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent, and were not previously diagnosed with diabetes.

The result showed that the prevalence rate of prediabetes increased from 11.6 percent to 35.3 percent from 2003 to 2011. Overweight adults aged 40 and above had even higher risk, with 50.6 percent of them had prediabetes in 2011.

The authors said there has been a marked increase in the proportion of adults in England with prediabetes. In the absence of concerted and effective efforts to reduce risk, the number of people with diabetes is likely to increase steeply in coming years.

Source: zee news