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It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: Abbott acquires Bigfoot, a new study looks at low-dose aspirin to prevent type 2, researchers look into whether the AI ChatGPT can answer FAQs about diabetes, Beyond Type Run is back for the NYC Marathon, and more!
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Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines happening now
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Our top story this week – Abbott scoops up Bigfoot Biomedical. The deal is expected to close later this year – no financial terms yet disclosed. Abbott and Bigfoot have worked together since 2017 on a connected insulin pen system. Bigfoot Unity exclusively works with Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre® Long time listeners will recall that Bigfoot was founded in 2015 around serving people with type 1 diabetes with a closed loop pump system that Byran Mazlish had developed for his wife and son. Mazlish was very secretive at first about the algorithm – this was before people were sure the FDA wouldn’t crack down on them – so a journalist nicknamed him Bigfoot. Along the way, the company pivoted to CGM connected SmartPens. I believe Bigfoot was my third interview, back in 2015 – I’ll ink up all of the interviews I’ve done with them in the show notes.
Low-dose aspirin reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes among older adults and slows the increase in fasting glucose levels over time, new research finds.
The data come from a secondary analysis of ASPREE, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of healthy adults aged 65 years or older, showing that 100 mg of aspirin taken daily for about 5 years did not provide a cardiovascular benefit but did significantly raise the risk for bleeding. It’s a big study, more than 16-thousand people.
This new analysis shows that individuals taking aspirin had a 15% lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes and that the medication slowed the rate of increase in fasting plasma glucose, compared with placebo, during follow-up.
However, lead author Sophia Zoungas, MBBS, PhD, head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, says, “Major prescribing guidelines now recommend older adults take daily aspirin only when there is a medical reason to do so, such as after a heart attack… Although these new findings are of interest, they do not change the clinical advice about aspirin use in older people at this time.”
A class-action lawsuit filed against Medtronic (NYSE: MDT)+
alleges that the company’s insulin delivery devices shared patient data with third parties.
The lawsuit — filed by the plaintiff “A.H.” in U.S. District Court in Central California — levels allegations against Medtronic and its MiniMed and InPen devices. It addresses MiniMed’s transmission and disclosure of personally identifiable information and protected health information to Google and other third parties.
Per the lawsuit, the data was transmitted via tracking and authentication technology, including Google Analytics, Crashlytics, Firebase Authentication and related tools. A.H. says these technologies, installed on the website and/or mobile applications, include the InPen iOS and Android applications.
“Information about a person’s health is among the most confidential and sensitive information in society, and its mishandling can have serious consequences, including embarrassment, discrimination, and denial of insurance coverage,” the lawsuit reads.
A Medtronic spokesperson issued the following statement via email:
We have strong processes, technologies, and people in place to safeguard and protect our information and systems, the information of our business partners, and most importantly, the privacy and safety of the patients and healthcare providers that use our products.”
Interesting new way to look at type 2 – not weight loss or medication, but about reducing how much blood glucose goes up and stays up after eating and drinking. University of Virginia Daniel Cox says this is called Glucose Everyday Matters, or GEM – aims to prevent blood sugar spikes via educated food and drink selection. This is coupled with physical activity to hasten recovery when blood-sugar spikes do occur. So someone might indulge in a piece of fruit or a small, sweet treat, knowing how it will affect them, and then go for an evening stroll to help even out their blood sugar.
Sounds really simple, but in its first study, it helps almost 70-percent of people put their type 2 into remission without weight loss or medication.
The National Institutes of Health has provided $3.5 million for a large-scale clinical trial
Cox himself went from an A1C of 10.3 at the time of diagnoses to reading consistently under 6.0 for the past 13 years on no medication using his approach.
Final preparations are in place to initiate the first clinical site for DIAGNODE-3 in the United States, and additional sites are expected to be initiated over the coming months. Approximately 10-12 clinical sites across the US are planned to be initiated, expanding the DIAGNODE-3 trial in the US and eight European countries to approximately 60 clincal sites in total. DIAGNODE-3 is designed to confirm the efficacy and safety of the antigen-specific immunotherapy Diamyd® in patients aged 12 to 29 years recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and carrying the genetic HLA DR3-DQ2 marker.
Approximately 40% of all screened patients carry the genetic HLA DR3-DQ2 haplotype. This proportion aligns well with expectations based on previous Diamyd® clinical trials and published epidemiological research. Supported by published retrospective analyses and prospective clinical trials, the presence of the genetic HLA DR3-DQ2 haplotype determines the likelihood of responding to Diamyd® therapy, and serves as one of the main inclusion criteria in the DIAGNODE-3 trial.
“Patient recruitment is a complex and central element in any trial and it is encouraging to see a significant and continuous uptick in the screening rate and that the observed frequency of the genetically defined responder group enrolled into DIAGNODE-3 confirms our previous observations”, says Ulf Hannelius, President & CEO of Diamyd Medical. “This shows the operational and clinical feasibility of our precision medicine approach to Type 1 Diabetes and we look forward to expanding the trial to the United States”.
A low-carbohydrate diet during pregnancy may have some benefits in gestational diabetes, but overall, low-carbohydrate diets are not associated with any significant differences in outcomes. That was the conclusion of a presentation at the ADA Scientific Sessions. That was back in June but I just learned about it, so I’m passing along to you in case you missed it as well.
During a debate at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, Amy M. Valent, DO, MCR, associate professor in the division of maternal-fetal medicine in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, said identifying
Teri L. Hernandez, PhD, RN, associate dean of research and scholarship in the College of Nursing and professor in the department of medicine and the division of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, agreed that the first line of therapy with gestational diabetes is nutrition. However, Hernandez said, low-carbohydrate diets are not the only approach in gestational diabetes treatment with nutrition.
Currently, dietary advice for treating gestational diabetes is inconsistent, and current professional guidelines have limitations and biases, according to Valent. Different diet strategies include low-carbohydrate, low glycemic index and total energy restriction eating plans, according to Valent. Valent said ACOG guidelines recommended a low-carbohydrate diet for gestational diabetes until the most recently revised edition in January.
Valent reviewed several major landmark studies demonstrating that gestational diabetes treatment can decrease pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and large for gestational age infants.
“These studies were in the era where treatment of diabetes in pregnancy involved recommending a low-carbohydrate diet,” Valent said. “The concern with lowering carbohydrates is the risk of consuming lower nutrient-dense foods and resulting in the body to produce ketones, which may be associated with negative effects on the developing baby.”
“Pregnancy is dynamic. Nobody’s the same today as they were yesterday. They’re going to be different 1, 2 or 3 weeks from now, and the nutritional demands and the fetal growth and development stage are going to be different,” Valent said. “So, nutritional demands are going to vary.”
Hernandez also added that women and girls tend to be priced out of good nutritional patterns, which is an issue not only in the pregnancy field, but also in the global community. According to Hernandez, it is important to create ways moving forward to identify what nutritional patterns are best that are also affordable for families, especially in lower-income settings.
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Can ChatGPT help answer questions about diabetes?
In a recent study published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers tested chatGPT, a language model geared for discussion, to investigate whether it could answer frequently asked diabetes questions.
In the present study, researchers evaluated ChatGPT’s expertise in diabetes, especially the capacity to answer commonly requested questions related to diabetes in a similar manner as humans.
The ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section of the Diabetes Association of Denmark’s website, viewed on 10 January 2023, included eight questions. The researchers designed the remaining questions to correlate to particular lines on the ‘Knowledge Center for Diabetes website and a report on physical activity and diabetes mellitus type 1.
Across the 10 questions, the proportion of correct responses ranged from 38% to 74%. Participants correctly identified ChatGPT-generated replies 60% of the time, which was over the non-inferiority threshold. Males and females had 64% and 58% chances of accurately recognizing the artificial intelligence-generated response, respectively. Individuals who had past contact with diabetes patients had a 61% chance of precisely answering the questions, compared to 57% for those who had no prior contact with diabetes patients.
In contrast to the initial premise, participants could discern between ChatGPT-generated and human-written replies better than tossing a fair coin.
While ChatGPT demonstrated some potential for accurately answering frequently asked questions, issues around misinformation and the lack of nuanced, personalized advice were evident. As large language models increasingly intersect with healthcare, rigorous studies are essential to evaluate their safety, efficacy, and ethical considerations in patient care, emphasizing the need for robust regulatory frameworks and continuous oversight.
SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On November 5, diabetes nonprofit Beyond Type 1 will join more than 550 official charity partners and philanthropists raising awareness and funds while participating in the world’s largest marathon, the TCS New York City Marathon. This year, the organization is expanding its 50-person team, Beyond Type Run, to include people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, as well as caregivers to those living with diabetes.
“Since 2017, we’ve featured more than 200 runners on our teams who’ve exemplified what it means to survive and thrive with diabetes,” said Beyond Type 1 CEO Deborah Dugan.
Beyond Type 1 announces the 2023 NYC Marathon team to raise awareness and funds for people living with diabetes
As a part of the Beyond Type Run team, runners will be advocating to raise awareness and funds for Beyond Type 1’s portfolio of educational resources, awareness campaigns and peer-to-peer support programs for people impacted by diabetes. This advocacy is elevated through the NYRR Official Charity Partner Program, which offers opportunities for nonprofit organizations to raise funds to support their missions and services.
Dexcom and Tandem Diabetes Care are presenting sponsors of Beyond Type Run for a fourth consecutive year.
The TCS New York City Marathon Official Charity Partner Program has raised more than $440 million for more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations since its establishment in 2006.
On the podcast next week.. tandem diabetes celebrity panel from friends for life – Hollywood, the NFL and NASCAR. Last week’s episode was Benny off to college
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.