It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: infusion set recall, update on ViaCyte stem cell research, a few new studies look at sleep and diabetes, actual clinical research into cinnamon for type 1 and lots more.
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Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and every other Friday I bring you a short episode with the top diabetes stories and headlines happening now.
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Our top story this week…
A recall of infusion sets. This is the VariSoft infusion set used with Tandem Diabetes Pumps. The recall here isn’t new.. but the FDA has changed the rating to Class 1, its most serious. The VariSoft version is flexible and can be put in place at an insertion angle anywhere between 20 and 45 degrees, it’s usually recommended for people “who are thin or who have scar tissue or limiting potential insertion sites.”
The problem is that the connector can detach from the set – which means no insulin is going in. To date, according to the FDA notice, there has only been one report of injury related to the recall.
An already existing drug may help preserve beta cell function in people with new onset type 1. It’s got a very long name, so it’s usually referred to as DFMO. It inhibits a pathway, which plays a role in the inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. It’s sold under a few names for different conditions, including Vaniqa which is a cream for unwanted hair growth in women. It also has orphan designations for treating various cancers, including neuroblastoma.
The new safety study by Sims and colleagues, which was published November 1 in Cell Medicine Reports, enrolled 41 people with type 1 diabetes that had been diagnosed within the previous 8 months, including 31 children. Participants were randomly assigned to undergo oral treatment with DFMO at one of five doses or placebo for 3 months, with 3 additional months of follow-up.
Following a mixed-meal tolerance test at 6 months, the C-peptide area under the curve ― a measure of beta-cell function ― was significantly higher with the three highest DFMO doses compared to placebo (P = .02, .03, and .02 for 125 mg/m2, 750 mg/m2, and 1000 mg/m2, respectively).
Despite earlier promising findings, it seems unlikely that cinnamon can improve blood sugar levels in people with type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes, researchers report.
Previous research has shown that cinnamon appears to help fat cells recognize and respond to insulin. In test tube experiments and in animal studies, the spice led to a noteworthy increase in the processing of glucose. Moreover, in a previous study of people with type 2, or non-insulin dependent, diabetes, those who incorporated a small amount of cinnamon each day for 40 days into their normal diets experienced a healthy drop in blood sugar levels.
But a new study of teenagers with type 1 showed cinnamon made no difference after 90 days .
In fact, “In essentially all outcomes…the trend favored the placebo group, although did not achieve statistical significance,” the researchers report.
New results from ViaCyte clinical trials – that’s a stem cell-based treatment for type 1 diabetes. The therapy aims to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that people with type 1 diabetes lack. Dubbed VC-02, the small medical implant contains millions of lab-grown pancreatic islet cells, including beta cells. The devices—approximately the size of a Band-Aid and no thicker than a credit card—are implanted just beneath a patient’s skin where it is hoped they will provide a steady, long-term regulated supply of self-sustaining insulin. The clinical trial was conducted at Vancouver General Hospital, with additional sites in Belgium and the U.S. Ten participants, each of whom had no detectable insulin production at the start of the study, underwent surgery to receive up to 10 device implants each.
Six months later, three participants showed significant markers of insulin production and maintained those levels throughout the remainder of the year-long study. These participants spent more time in an optimal blood glucose range and reduced their intake of externally administered insulin.
One participant, in particular, showed remarkable improvement, with time spent in the target blood glucose range increasing from 55% to 85%, and a 44% reduction in their daily insulin administration.
In another ongoing trial, the UBC-VCH team is investigating whether a version of the device containing cells that have been genetically engineered to evade the immune system, using CRISPR gene-editing technology, could eliminate the need for participants to take immunosuppressant drugs alongside the treatment.
A new look at sleep quality in people with type 1 finding that more time in range means better sleep. No surprise here, but important to quantify. Interestingly, recurrent high or low blood sugar, rather than constant or prolonged higher levels seems associated with worse sleep.
A study in adults with type 1 diabetes showed that 17.7% wake up every night, and 53.5% wake up once or twice a week1. This was a small pilot study – the researchers want to now move to a larger one.
New study looks at women, sleep and insulin sensitivity. This is a small study, only 40 women, which found that particularly post menopausal women who sleep less 7 hours per night may have impaired insulin sensitivity regardless of body fat.
Nearly 40 women were randomly assigned to either restricted sleep or adequate sleep for 6 weeks, then crossed over to the other sleep condition. During sleep restriction, women slept an average of 6.2 hours per night vs 7-9 hours per night. Both fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance were significantly increased during sleep restriction with more insulin needed to normalize glucose. These researchers say if sustained over time, it is possible that prolonged insufficient sleep among individuals with prediabetes could accelerate the progression to type 2 diabetes
Pregnant women with type 2 who use CGM saw improvement in blood glucose levels but only if they used the device more than 50% of the time during their pregnancy. This study involved high-risk women from regional and remote Australia all with type 2. No changes in diabetes metrics were seen in those who used the CGM only early or late in their pregnancies.
When it comes to walking and type 2 diabetes risk, it’s not just how much you do it that helps — it’s also how fast you move, a new study has found.
Brisk walking is associated with a nearly 40% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, according to the study published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
“Previous studies have indicated that frequent walking was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the general population, in a way that those with more time spent walking per day were at a lower risk,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Ahmad Jayedi, a research assistant at the Social Determinants of Health Research Center at the Semnan University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
The study authors reviewed 10 previous studies conducted between 1999 and 2022, which assessed links between walking speed — measured by objective timed tests or subjective reports from participants — and the development of type 2 diabetes among adults from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.
After a follow-up period of eight years on average, compared with easy or casual walking those who walked an average or normal pace had a 15% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the researchers found. Walking at a “fairly brisk” pace meant a 24% lower risk than those who easily or casually walked. And “brisk/striding walking had the biggest benefit: a 39% reduction in risk.
Easy or casual walking was defined as less than 2 miles per hour. Average or normal pace was defined as 2 to 3 miles per hour. A “fairly brisk” pace was 3 to 4 miles per hour. And “brisk/striding walking” was more than 4 per hour. Each kilometer increase in walking speed above brisk was associated with a 9% lower risk of developing the disease.
Not a lot of events happening in December but there are two to tell you about:
Beyond Type 2 virtual summit