Key results from a landmark federal study are in, and the results are disappointing for diabetics: Adding drugs to drive blood pressure and blood-fats lower than current targets did not prevent heart problems, and in some cases caused harmful side effects.
A decade ago, the federal government launched the three-part study to see whether intensely lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, or fats in the blood would reduce heart attacks and strokes in diabetics. The first piece of the study – about blood sugar – was stopped two years ago, when researchers saw more instead of less risk with that approach. Now, the other two parts of the study are in.
Just half of prediabetes patients try to improve health
A survey found about 50% of people told that they have prediabetes tried to lose weight or exercise more in the following year. Prediabetes patients were likely to be older, male and have heart disease risk factors such as higher weight, waist size, blood pressure and triglyceride levels, researchers said. Bloomberg BusinessWeek/HealthDay News (3/2)
Strokes are becoming more common among younger patients
The incidence of strokes among patients ages 20 to 45 increased to 7.3% in 2005 from 4.5% in 1993 to 1994, study data showed. Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes may be the reasons for the increase, researchers said. The average age of stroke patients decreased from 71.3 years old to 68.4 during the same time period. HealthDay News (2/24)
State of the Union’s Health Report released
The use of medical technology in the United States increased dramatically between 1996 and 2006, according to “Health, United States, 2009,” the federal government’s 33rd annual report to the President and Congress on the health of all Americans.
The report was prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics from data gathered by state and federal health agencies and through ongoing national surveys.
This year’s edition features a special section on medical technology, and finds that the rate of magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI, and computed and positron emission tomography or CT/PET scans, ordered or provided, tripled between 1996 and 2007.
Highlights of the special section include:
* The rate of adults aged 45 and over discharged from the hospital after receiving at least one knee replacement procedure increased 70 percent from 1996 to 2006 (26.5 per 10,000 population in 1996 to 45.2 per 10,000 in 2006).
* From 1988-1994 to 2003-2006, use of antidiabetic drugs among adults aged 45 years and over increased about 50 percent, and the use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol among this age group increased almost tenfold.
* The number of new organ transplantations per 1 million people increased 31 percent for kidney transplants (43.7 per 1 million in 1997 vs. 57.2 in 2006) and 42 percent for liver transplants between 1997 and 2006 (15.6 per 1 million in 1997 vs. 22.2 in 2006).
The full report contains 150 data tables in addition to the special feature on medical technology. The tables cover the spectrum of health topics, serving as a comprehensive snapshot of the nation’s health.
* Life expectancy at birth increased more for the black than for the white population between 1990 and 2007, thereby narrowing the gap in life expectancy between these two racial groups. Overall U.S. life expectancy in 2007 was 77.9 years.
* In 2007, 20 percent of U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers, a slight decrease from 21 percent in the previous three years. Men were more likely to be current cigarette smokers than women (22 percent vs. 17 percent).
* In 2005-2006, 30 percent of adults often or almost always had trouble sleeping in the past month.
* In 2007, 20 percent of adults 18 years and over had at least one emergency department visit in the past year, and 7 percent had two or more visits.
* The percentage of the population taking at least one prescription drug during the previous month increased from 38 percent in 1988-1994 to 47 percent in 2003-2006, and the percentage taking three or more prescription drugs increased from 11 percent to 21 percent.
(CNN) — The diabetes drug Avandia is linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks, and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline knew of the risks for years but worked to keep them from the public, according to a Senate committee report released Saturday.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Many people whose doctors start them on medications for conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure may never fill those prescriptions, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among more than 75,000 Massachusetts patients given drug prescriptions over one year, 22 percent of the prescriptions were never filled. The rate was even higher — 28 percent — when the researchers looked only at first-time prescriptions.
Such “non-adherence,” the study found, was common even among patients prescribed drugs for chronic conditions that can have serious health consequences.
Diabetes Outreach Improves, But More Work Needed: NBCH
Eighty-Five percent of diabetics covered by the surveyed plans received at least one hemoglobin test but 43% of those tested had uncontrolled blood sugar levels. [ Business Insurance | Feb 17
Editor’s note: Perhaps evidence that obesity is negatively impacting the health status of our children in more ways than just being overweight.
- The rate of chronic health conditions in children doubled from 12.8% in 1994 to 26.6% in 2006
- 51.5% reported a chronic condition at some point during their 6-year study period
- Only 7.4 % of the children who had a chronic condition at the start of the study still had that same condition at the end of it
Source: “Dynamics of Obesity and Chronic Health Conditions Among Children and Youth,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 17, 2010, http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/303/7/623?home
WASHINGTON – One in four people who have a stroke will likely die within one year from any cause and 8 percent who have a stroke will have another one soon, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
The risks were higher for African-Americans compared to whites and increased with age and the number of other ailments stroke patients had, the researchers wrote in the journal Neurology.
High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, smoking and a prior stroke are the biggest risk factors for stroke, the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC.
Employee Health Conditions: Sleep Problems Top Obesity Among Prevalent Health Conditions
|Health Condition||Proportion of Employees with Condition|
Data Source: Integrated Benefits Institute
Publication: Employee Benefit News. January 2010. http://ebn.benefitnews.com/