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It’s “In the News…” the top diabetes headlines of the past seven days. This week: Why is COVID more dangerous with diabetes? A new study says technology (like pumps and CGMs) doesn’t help “Diabetes Distress,” more screening recommended for “social risk” of type 2, bioartificial pancreas research and there’s a T1D Superhero movie in the works!
Links and transcript below

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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 of the past seven days.  As always, I’m going to link up my sources in the Facebook comments – where we are live – and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast.. so you can read more if you want, on your own schedule.


In the News is brought to you by Real Good Foods! Find their Entrée Bowls and all of their great products in your local grocery store, Target or Costco.


Our top story this week.. type 2 diabetes has been identified for a while now as one of the main risk factors for severe COVID-19. New research from the University of Michigan says the culprit appears to be an enzyme called SETDB2, which is part of the reason why wounds don’t heal well in some people with diabetes. Put very simply, as levels of this enzyme went down, inflammation during COVID went up.

There is already a protein – Interferon – that is known to increase levels of this enzyme.. These researchers hope their findings will help in clinical trials of interferon or other treatments. They also say it’s important to go through a patient’s medical history to better target treatment for COVID.


Interesting study about young adults and what these researchers call Diabetes Distress. The study shows Distress – which they don’t really define, but what sounds like depression or burnout or other mental health struggles – is associated with higher A1Cs. Not too much of a surprise, but they also found it doesn’t matter if these young adults using insulin pumps or CGMs or just multiple daily injections.

This Yale study was done by looking at past surveys of more than 400 people aged 18-29 in NY.

They found that while users of insulin pumps and CGMs have overall lower A1Cs, the benefit of device use diminishes when high diabetes distress is present.


Certain racial and ethnic minorities develop type 2 diabetes at a younger age than white Americans. That means , current diabetes screening and prevention practices for them may be inadequate and inequitable

This Northwestern Medicine study says American adults are diagnosed with type 2 at an average age of 50, but for Black and Mexican American adults it’s 4 to 7 years earlier. And more than 25% of that group report a diagnosis before turning 40.

Recommended screening time is important not just for better health but because screenings are almost always only covered by insurance when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends them.

If that sounds familiar, that’s the group that recently announced new guidelines that lowered the recommended age from 40 to 35 to start screening adults who are overweight or obese for type 2 diabetes. Future research should consider whether even earlier screening is indicated among individuals with exposure to social risks, the study authors said.


Very early on but promising results for what’s being called a bio- artificial pancreas. This is a tiny implantable device that holds insulin-secreting cells in a compartment protecting them from the body’s autoimmune response.

The micro-encapsulation device has the potential to be an autonomous system that would not require constant refilling and replacement of insulin cartridges, according to these researchers.

The prototype has two separate chambers — one that collects nutrients from the device’s surroundings, and one that houses the protected cells.

Lots of work before this one’s ready for clinical trials


More to come, including news about a T1D superhero movie, but first, I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors who helps make Diabetes Connections possible.

Real Good Foods. Where the mission is Be Real Good

They make nutritious foods— grain free, high in protein, never added sugar and from real ingredients— I was in Target this week and I saw the new Entrée bowls, I bought the Lemon Chicken and the Lasagna. The Lemon chicken was great! It uses hearts of palm pasta instead of regular noodles which I thought sounded odd but really tasted good. They keep adding to the menu line! You can buy online or find a store near you with their locator right on the website. I’ll put a link in the FB comments and as always at d-c dot com.

Back to the news…

And a Big boost for diabetes camps. Lilly Diabetes will commit nearly $1 million over the next three years in a joint effort with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to the Type 1 Diabetes Camps Initiative.

The money is going specifically to non-profit diabetes camping organizations nationwide serving low-income youth living with T1D. and help diabetes camps adapt to the physical requirements of COVID-19 and better serve youth living with T1D via capital improvements.


A new movie with a superhero who lives with type 1 is coming to theaters next summer. Called “Gum-she: The Type 1 Protector,” it’s created by Jermaine Hargrove, diagnosed with type one 15 years ago as an adult.

The main character Justice Johnson has diabetes but it’s not the cause of her superpower. That comes from the bubble gum she’s always chewing and she’s able to shoot gum from her palms to help her save the world.

The American Diabetes Association is partnering on the film and  promoting it.. one of the big themes is health equity..

There is a great article in diabetes mine all about this, I’ll link that up. In it, Hargrove says Bubble gum brings everyone together. Like music: it’s everywhere.”

I’m excited about this – but I have to say – if this had come out when my kids were little – I would be hiding all of the bubble gum. If you watch the teaser trailer – she is shooting bubble gum everywhere! Using it to create bridges and running around like spider man. So.. it looks really cute but knowing my kids? Again.. I’d have to hide the gum.

Watch for the trailer on world diabetes day – nov 14. The full film will be released next summer.


Please join me wherever you get podcasts for our next episode – The episode out right now is with Ethan Orr – the Colorado high school swimmer removed from his meet because of his the medical tape over his CGM.

And send me your Dear Dr. Banting audio! What would you say to the man credited with the discovery of insulin? All the details and how to send it to me is in the show notes.

That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.


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