It’s “In the News…” Got a few minutes? Get caught up! Our top stories this week include new information about the temperature at which insulin can be safely stored, a warning about men taking Metformin, news about sexual health and women with diabetes, and a heads up about a virtual mental health conference coming up for people with diabetes.
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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. 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.
The news is brought to you by The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom: Real Life Stories of Parenting a Child With Type 1 Diabetes. Winner of best new non-fiction at the American Book Fest and named a Book Authority best parenting book. Available in paperback, eBook or audio book at amazon.
Our top story.. a look at how insulin holds up under real-world and often hotter conditions than is recommended. Doctors without Borders found that a range of insulins can be stored at warmer temperatures than previously recommended. They showed it’s okay above 77-degrees all the way up to 99 degrees for four weeks. This is really important not just for emergency settings like refugee camps but for people who live in areas without refrigeration. They often have to travel to health clinics which may be far away and which can’t send them home with the insulin. The group now says pharmaceutical corporations should urgently submit to regulatory authorities for use of insulin under expanded temperature ranges. This came out a few weeks back, but I haven’t seen it anywhere.
Big headlines this week about Metformin and the risk of of birth defects in the babies of men who take it. Metformin is a very common diabetes drug, taken by tens of millions of people around the world. Sons born to men taking it were more than three times as likely to have a genital birth defect as unexposed babies. These problems were relatively rare, occurring in fewer than 1-percent of all babies with dads who took Metformin but it’s significant because tens of millions of people worldwide take metformin. These researchers say the paper’s findings are preliminary and observational only.. and that men with diabetes should NOT abruptly stop metformin before trying to conceive. Reassuringly, the researches saw no effect for men who took the drug earlier in life or even a year before. Expect a lot more research to come on this one.
Grain of salt needed here, but new research may show that people with type 1 are more likely to manage better if they have high levels of psychological resilience. This was a British study that followed 18-hundred people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. They used a questionnaire to determine how they adapted to change and focused under pressure. The researchers found that people with type 1 diabetes who had low psychological resilience also had poorer blood sugar control after two years. The idea is that something like this would offer the opportunity to identify those who might benefit most from additional support when they are first diagnosed.
Among patients with diabetes, women are just as likely as men to suffer from sexual dysfunction, but their issues are overlooked. Big session on this at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference this week. Reserachers say women with diabetes can experience reduced sexual desire, painful sex, and other issues which can increase the risk of depression. But these issues are usually untreated despite help being available. They talked about the embarrassment factor and the idea that many women with sexual dysfunction don’t realize diabetes could be a factor.
They encourage health care professionals to go beyond conversations about contraception, pregnancy and menstruation. A recent study led by Belgian researchers found that among more than 750 adults with diabetes 36% of men and 33% of women reported sexual dysfunction.
Concerning new trend about pre-diabetes.. it’s doubled among children over the last 20 years. The increase was seen over almost all subpopulations of young Americans, regardless of income, ethnicity and education. The study in the journal JAMA Pedatirics included kids 12 to 19 years old from 1999 to 2018. The rate of presdiabetes went from 11.6-percent to 28.2-percent. Pre-diabetes means blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet at the diabetes threshold. These researchers are quick to point out, they don’t know the reason why this is happening.. while diet and exercise are usually what’s pointed to.. it’s not entirely clear that’s the reason behind this rise.
Huge new study of more than 3-million people says people with type 2 have a higher risk of 57 other health conditions. Experts described the findings as stark and alarming and said it underlined the urgent need to reduce the risk of more people developing type 2 diabetes. The study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, focused on people over 30. These researchers say the higher risks occurred when people were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes under the age of 50.
Want to let you know about the Diabetes plus Mental Health virtual conference coming up in May. This two-day event will highlight ways in which living with diabetes affects mental health. There will be 2 tracks – one for patients and one for caregivers and providers. I’m excited to take part – just in a light hearted way. I’ll be hosting a game show type session where you can meet some of the presenters and participants. Lots more information lined up.. registration is open now and early bird pricing ends April 3rd.
On this week’s long format episode we’re talking to JDRF about the new non-profit insulin they’ve backed. Why will this effort from Civica RX be different? We’ll talk about it. Next week we’ll have a conversation with one woman in the Joslin Medalist Study. Diagnosed nearly 70 years ago she shares her story and why she’s excited about part of this incredible group.
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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.