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August 2008 Briefing - Diabetes & Endocrinology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Diabetes & Endocrinology for August 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Chinese Herbal Diabetes Drug Mechanism Identified

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Berberine, a major constituent of a Chinese herb used to treat type 2 diabetes in China, blocks insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells in response to glucose through the cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling pathway, researchers report in the September issue of Endocrinology.

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Process Induces β-Like Cells in Pancreas in Mouse Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- With the help of a small number of transcription factors, pancreatic cells in mice can be reprogrammed into cells resembling β-cells that can secrete insulin, according to research published online Aug. 27 in Nature.

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Estrogen Protects Against Intestinal Acid Injury in Mice

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The ability of estrogen to stimulate duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretion (DMBS), which protects the duodenum against acid-peptic injury, in mice may explain the observed lower incidence of duodenal ulcers in premenopausal women, researchers report in the September issue of Endocrinology.

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Possible Genetic Link Between Obesity, Insulin Resistance

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Proteins and genes found in the fat tissue of obese subjects may prove to be the link between obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation, according to research published in the September issue of Diabetes.

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Genetic Deletion Related to Obesity in WAGR Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) haploinsufficiency is associated with onset of childhood obesity in patients with Wilms' tumor, aniridia, genitourinary abnormalities and mental retardation (WAGR) syndrome, and may be related to energy homeostasis in humans, researchers report in the Aug. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Protein Leads to Defects in Bone Formation in Mice

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Mice overproducing connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a protein critical for skeletal development, have impaired bone formation and develop osteopenia, researchers report in the September issue of Endocrinology.

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Meta-Analysis Compares Tight Glucose Control to Usual Care

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Tight glucose control in critically ill adults does not decrease hospital mortality or new need for dialysis, but was associated with a significant reduction in septicemia, according to research published in the Aug. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Drug Combo Improves Symptoms of Menopause in Animal Study

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of bazedoxifene and conjugated estrogens can improve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, reduced bone mass and increased cholesterol in a rat model, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 14 in Endocrinology.

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Swedish Stroke Incidence Shows Favorable Trends

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke incidence in northern Sweden declined during a recent 19-year period, with rates falling for first and recurrent strokes in women with diabetes and men without diabetes, according to research published online Aug. 21 in the journal Stroke.

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Protein Important in Glucose Control in Rats

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Bone morphogenetic protein-9 (BMP-9) is important in maintaining glucose homeostasis in normal rats and its regulation based on feeding status suggests that it may be the currently unknown hepatic insulin-sensitizing substance (HISS), according to research published online Aug. 14 in Endocrinology.

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Gene Essential for Female Fertility in Mice

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Female mice missing a protein in their reproductive system needed for gene regulation are infertile due to abnormal development and function of their reproductive tract, according to a report published online Aug. 14 in Endocrinology.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy Inadequate in Some Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease, low-dose aspirin may not adequately inhibit platelet function, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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High Urinary Arsenic Levels Linked to Diabetes

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of arsenic in a person's urine attributed to contamination of drinking water is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Serum Vitamin D Status Linked to Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, low serum 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations are associated with a significantly higher risk for hip fracture, researchers report in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Comorbidities Worsen Fatigue in HIV-Positive Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Specific types of comorbidities and increasing numbers of comorbidities worsen fatigue severity and symptom scores in HIV/AIDS patients, and health care providers must be able to identify causes of fatigue to intervene more effectively, according to study findings published in the August issue of Applied Nursing Research.

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In England, Health Care Quality Suffers from Gaps

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of health care in England could be greatly improved, particularly for some chronic conditions in older people, according to research published online Aug. 14 in BMJ.

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ACE Inhibitor/ARB Combination Worsens Major Renal Outcomes

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The combined use of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor ramipril and the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) telmisartan in patients with high cardiovascular risk is associated with worsened major renal outcomes compared to these drugs as monotherapy, researchers report in the Aug. 16 issue of The Lancet.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Osteoporotic Fractures

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Taking proton pump inhibitors to treat ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease for long periods of time is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, particularly hip fractures, according to a report in the Aug. 12 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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Drug Prevents Osteoporotic Fractures But Ups Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Tibolone, a drug already approved to treat menopausal symptoms and prevent osteoporosis in many countries, prevents vertebral and other fractures in osteoporotic women but increases the risk of stroke, according to a report in the Aug. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Chronic Hepatitis C Linked to Insulin Resistance

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic hepatitis C have a higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which can adversely affect the success of antiviral treatment, according to a review in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Childhood Clumsiness Linked to Adult Obesity

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who become obese in their 30s are more likely to have been clumsy and have poor physical coordination as children, according to research published Aug. 12 in BMJ Online First.

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Studies Characterize Benign Form of Obesity

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A metabolically benign form of obesity may exist, according to two studies published in the Aug. 11/25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Method Reveals Fly Semen More Complex Than Thought

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A new method of assessing seminal proteins of flies in recently mated females confirmed many anticipated proteins and found additional novel seminal fluid components, according to research published in the July issue of PLoS Biology.

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Retinopathy Linked to Heart Disease Mortality

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Retinopathy independently predicts coronary heart disease mortality in people with and without diabetes, according to study findings published online Aug. 12 in Heart.

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Weight Loss After Diagnosis Improves Diabetes Control

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who lose weight after being newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have better glycemic and blood pressure control than patients who maintain a stable weight or gain weight, even if they later regain the weight, according to a report released online in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of Diabetes Care.

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Cognitive Problems Linked to Longer, More Severe Diabetes

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Mild cognitive impairment is associated with earlier onset, longer duration and greater severity of diabetes mellitus, according to research published in the August issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Stem Cells Isolated from Patients with Genetic Diseases

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cells can be produced from cells from patients with a variety of genetic disorders, allowing investigation into disease pathogenesis and drug development, according to research published online Aug. 7 in Cell.

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Mice Lacking Neurotransmitter in Select Neurons Are Skinny

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Blocking the release of the GABA neurotransmitter from certain brain neurons known to be involved in weight control leads to skinny mice that are resistant to diet-induced obesity due to changes in regulating energy balance, according to research published online Aug. 10 in Nature Neuroscience.

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Nephrotic Syndrome Remission Linked to Improved Sodium

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who achieved remission of idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) with rituximab, the remission was associated with improved sodium homeostasis and kidney hemodynamics, according to research published online Aug. 6 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Obese People May Have Specific Phenotype of Asthma

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma control among obese patients is poorer than that among non-obese patients, and the inflammatory characteristics and pattern of pulmonary function changes imply that there may be a different phenotype for asthma among obese patients, according to research published in the August issue of Chest.

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Estrogen Reduces Severity of Schizophrenia Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen may be a useful adjunctive therapy for severe mental illness, according to researchers who report that it reduces symptoms in schizophrenic women. Their study findings are published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Exercise Link to Depression and Anxiety Examined

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is an association between regular exercise and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, exercise is not a causal factor, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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In U.S., 11 Million Chronically Ill Lack Health Insurance

TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 11.4 million adults in the United States with chronic conditions do not have health insurance, and they are less likely to visit a health professional and more likely to use the emergency department for care, according to an article in the Aug. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Adiponectin Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Disease

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with an increased risk of new coronary heart disease in older adults, according to research published online July 1 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Laser Treatment May Improve Long-Term Vision in Diabetics

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetic macular edema, treatment with focal/grid photocoagulation may provide a better long-term response and fewer side effects than treatment with preservative-free intravitreal triamcinolone, according to a report published online July 28 in Ophthalmology.

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Excess Drinking Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking alcohol in excess of standard recommendations is associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, according to research published online July 15 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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Walker-Friendly Areas Promote Healthy Weight

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- People who live in older neighborhoods and those who can walk to work are less likely to be obese than their counterparts in newer and less walker-friendly neighborhoods, according to a report published online July 29 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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