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Studies: Intense Treatment Doesn’t Help Diabetics

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.


March 15, 2010 Posted by | diabetes, healthcare | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Self Care Possible – Six of One, Half-Dozen of Another

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)

March 4, 2010 Posted by | diabetes, healthcare, Prevention and Wellness | , , | Leave a comment

Prevelence of Strokes

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)

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, diabetes, healthcare, High Blood Pressure | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leads and Clues to the Ever Increasing Cost of Health Care

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.


February 22, 2010 Posted by | Cost, diabetes, drugs, healthcare, Overuse | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Senate report links diabetes drug Avandia to heart attacks

(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.

February 20, 2010 Posted by | diabetes, drugs, healthcare, quality, Safety | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diabetes – Adherence to Appropriate Care

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

February 18, 2010 Posted by | diabetes, healthcare | , | Leave a comment

What is the root cause of declining health status in children

Editor’s note: Perhaps evidence that obesity is negatively impacting the health status of our children in more ways than just being overweight.

According to a recent study of chronic health conditions in children including obesity, asthma and learning problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD:
  • 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, 

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, diabetes, healthcare | , , , | Leave a comment

Quarter of stroke patients die within a year

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.

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, diabetes, healthcare, High Blood Pressure | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes Data and Perception are Not the Same

Employee Health Conditions: Sleep Problems Top Obesity Among Prevalent Health Conditions

Health Condition Proportion of Employees with Condition
Allergy 52%
Back/neck 34%
Fatigue 29%
Depression 27%
Headache 23%
High cholesterol 22%
Sleeping problems 21%
Obesity 19%
Migraine 19%
Hypertension 18%

Data Source: Integrated Benefits Institute

Publication: Employee Benefit News. January 2010.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Chronic conditions, diabetes, healthcare, High Blood Pressure, Prevention and Wellness | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Up With a Treatment Plan

Physicians, patients differ on diabetes priorities
A Michigan survey found 38% of physicians ranked hypertension as the most important concern for diabetics, compared with just 18% of patients. Researchers said when patients and physicians disagree on health care priorities it is difficult to come up with an effective treatment plan. United Press International (2/3

February 10, 2010 Posted by | diabetes, healthcare, High Blood Pressure, physicians, quality | , , , , , , | Leave a comment