More Headlines From the ADA Scientific Sessions

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Last week we gave a rundown of some recent research presented at the America Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia. This week we’d like to continue that theme with a few more notable headlines from those sessions:

Salsalate Lowers Glucose Levels in Type 2
In a year-long trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the anti-inflammatory medicine salsalate — first used by ancient Greeks and Egyptians for pain relief and currently used for treating rheumatoid arthritis — was shown to lower blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Compared to people taking a placebo (inactive treatment), those taking salsalate reduced their A1C levels by 0.24% and their fasting glucose levels by 11 mg/dl, all while requiring lower doses of diabetes medicines compared to those in the control group.

Side effects of using salsalate included a modest average weight gain of 2.2 pounds, a slight rise in cholesterol, and a small change in urinary albumin levels (possibly indicating a change in kidney function) over the course of the year. However, glomerular filtration rate — another indicator of kidney function — did not change, and triglyceride levels dropped in those taking salsalate.

“The exciting thing here is that this drug is relatively inexpensive and has a long safety record for other uses, such as treating joint pain,” noted principal investigator Steven Shoelson, MD, PhD.

For more information, read the article “ADA: Old Anti-Inflammatory Drug Found to Lower Blood Glucose Levels in People With Type 2 Diabetes.”

Breakfast Linked With Decreased Type 2 Risk
Research conducted at the University of Minnesota indicates that eating breakfast is associated with a lowered risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Looking at data from nearly 3,600 women in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, the investigators found that for each additional day of the week that a person ate breakfast, there was a 5% reduction in the risk of developing Type 2; participants who had breakfast five times or more a week had a 31% lower chance of developing the condition than those who ate breakfast between zero and three times a week. Those eating breakfast more frequently also gained less weight.

To learn more, read the article “ADA: First Meal of the Day Decreases Risk for Type 2 Diabetes” or see the abstract from the ADA Scientific Sessions.

More Diabetes Cases Seen in Youth
The prevalence of diabetes cases among adolescents in the United States has risen since 2001, according to researchers from the University of Colorado in Denver.

In 2009, there were roughly 168,000 youths with Type 1 diabetes and 19,000 with Type 2 diabetes, representing a 23% increase in the prevalence of Type 1 and a 21% increase in Type 2 among adolescents since 2001. The increase was seen in most ethnic groups.

The researchers note that, while the increase in Type 2 goes hand-in-hand with the increase in obesity rates, the reason for the increase in Type 1 is less clear. Theories include the “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that young children are not exposed to as many bacteria and viruses that are crucial to the development of their immune system as in years past. Additionally, environmental factors that cause children to grow more quickly may overburden beta cells in the pancreas, according to researcher Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD.

The scientists also found signs of early complications in some of the children, noting that “All of these data provide evidence that diabetes in youth is not benign.”

To learn more, read the piece “ADA: Uptick in Diabetes Cases Seen Among Youth” or see the presentation abstract from the ADA Scientific Sessions.

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