Every week “In the News…” brings you the top stories and headlines around the diabetes community. Top stories this week: A new treatment is being studied to help prevent hypos, cannabis use may decrease women’s risk of type 2, examining Veterans Affairs claims for T1D & Agent Orange, better prevention for T2D and heart disease and which athlete at the Winter Olympics was diagnosed with type 1 as a teen?
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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. If you’re new we go live on social media first and then All sources linked up at diabetes dash connections dot com when this airs as a podcast.
Looking to get organized? Check out my new guide with top tips to clear your diabetes clutter. Everything from how to start to where to donate and how to keep it from taking over your house. Head over to the home page to get organized.
Our top story.. moving forward to find a daily therapy to slow or prevent low blood glucose in people with type 1. This is from diabetes-focused life sciences company Zucara Therapeutics. They’re calling the drug ZT-01 and in theory it could restore the body’s ability to release glucagon. Long way to go here, but reducing hypoglycemia is obviously a great outcome due to the many risks lows can create. Zucara will now move ahead with it’s proof-of-concept clinical trial in people with T1D. The company expects to publish the findings from that study closer to this summer.
Part of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act means a close look at type 1 in the VA. It mandates a report on disability compensation claims submitted by Vietnam War veterans who have Type 1 and were exposed to an herbicide agent during their service. The VA recognizes that Vietnam veterans’ Type 2 diabetes can be related to Agent Orange. But it requires veterans with type 1 to provide evidence. There are some challenges here: The VA’s claims decision data only goes back to 2003 and they track Type 1 and Type 2 with the same diagnostic code, they don’t distinguish between the two conditions. In 2020, diabetes represented roughly 6.5 percent of all service-related conditions for which Vietnam War era veterans received compensation.
New study of gestational diabetes shows it recurs for nearly half of women who’ve had it before. These doctors say little is known about the risk factors for recurrent gestational diabetes. Part of the problem is that they just changed criteria for diagnosing it. In this study about 8-percent of women had a history of gestational diabetes. Of those, almost 50-percent had it recur and just over 7-percent developed type 1 or type 2 between those pregnancies.
What’s the link between weed and a lower risk of type 2? First.. this study only showed such a link in women NOT in men and only in heavy users. In this study that means using cannabis at least four time in the previous month. No differences in the prevalence of type 2 in men who were light or heavy cannabis users versus nonusers. These findings come from a large 5 year study that ended in 2018 and in which people self-reported their use. These researchers say the gender difference was also seen in animal models. Expect more study on this one.
More good outcomes with SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists. These drugs are a mouthful but new research links them with lower chances of potentially fatal heart problems in people with type 2 without established heart disease. They compared these newer meds to the risks in people using more traditional therapies, such as metformin. The researchers showed the odds of developing heart failure was 51 percent lower for people using SGLT2 inhibitors, 18 percent lower for GLP-1 users and 57 percent lower for people using both drugs. The newer drugs are prescribed less and these researchers say we need to look at why when the newer ones show better outcomes.
Some tough numbers about depression and diabetes. In the US.. about 30-percent of people with either type 1 or type 2 have depressive symptoms and 11-percent show signs of major depressive disorder. This lines up with studies from other countries as well, so it’s not just about healthcare. There’s some info in this study about how insulin resistance may go hand in hand with depression.. Women with diabetes seem to be at a heightened risk. Emerging research suggests treatment of depression with antidepressants may decrease the risk of developing diabetes-related complications, although other research suggests there may be complications related to their use.
These conflicting findings highlight the need for further research.
Our friends at DiabetesMine have a good write up about the very attractive and ever elusive state of non-invasive blood glucose monitoring.. One that caught my eye was Scanbo. This technology uses a 60-second noninvasive finger measurement instead of a traditional blood drop required to measure glucose. The company has developed a prototype. You just put your fingers on the flat white sensors and the system uses a set of algorithms to analyze and offer insight on glucose values. Like most of these we’ve reported on.. they present at consumer shows, not medical conferences and no clinical trials. And.. this is my editorial.. what a weird photo. It looks like you have to put both hands on the machine and with the chipped purple nail polish this looks like no thought was put into it.
At least one athlete in these Winter Olympics lives with type 1… Kamilla Kozuback was diagnosed at age 13.. and her first question was whether she’d ever be able to snowboard again. That was only four years ago! At the time she told JDRF Canada – quote, “I want to be in the next Olympics. I’m going to keep working hard, and training all I can” She’s competing in Beijing this week.
The documentary “Pay or Die” gets some Hollywood star power behind hit. Susan Silverman signs on as an executive producer. We had directors Scott Ruderman and Rachel Dyer on the show last year to talk about what they describe as a look at the health care crisis in America, told through the personal stories of those with Type 1 diabetes who, because of soaring insulin costs, are living on the edge of survival.
Silverman says, “I believe Rachael and Scott might just shame our shameless government enough to move the needle,” “I’m grateful for the chance to help get eyes on this crucial documentary.”
Our long format episode this week is Molly Schreiber who lives with type 1 and rheumatoid arthritis. Medication for the latter made the decision to get a COVID vaccine complicated and she shares her story. Next week we’re talking with the people at SIGI pump.. a new tubeless rechargeable pump that got breakthrough device designation last fall.
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That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.