Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kidney Transplant Numbers Increase for Elderly Patients

Elderly patients with kidney failure get kidney transplants more often than they did a decade ago, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The results suggest that the chances of receiving a kidney transplant are better than ever for an older patient who needs one.

Kidney failure afflicts nearly half a million individuals in the United States, and 48% of sufferers are 60 years of age or older. Kidney disease patients who obtain a transplant live longer than those that remain on dialysis. Fortunately, living and deceased organ donations are on the rise; however, transplant waiting lists have become increasingly long as more and more people develop kidney dysfunction.

Elke Schaeffner, MD (Charité University Medicine, in Berlin, Germany), along with Caren Rose and John Gill, MD (St. Paul's Hospital, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada) examined whether elderly patients with kidney failure have better or worse access to transplants now than they did in the past. The study included patients with kidney failure in the United States aged 60 to 75 years listed in the United States Renal Data System between 1995 and 2006.

The study revealed that elderly patients rarely receive a transplant, but they were twice as likely to get one in 2006 as in 1995. (In 2006, they had a 7.3% likelihood of getting a transplant within three years of their first treatment for kidney failure.) Elderly patients now benefit from greater access to organs from living donors and older deceased donors compared to a decade ago. They also die less frequently while waiting for a kidney than they did in the past.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Diabetes prevalence among Americans may increase to 33%

The rate of diabetes among Americans is on an upswing and likely will reach epic proportions by 2050, costing the government millions.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in Population Health Metrics found that annual diagnosed diabetes incidence (new cases) will increase from about eight cases per 1,000 people in 2008 to about 15 in 2050. The authors also projected that — assuming low incidence and relatively high diabetes mortality — total diabetes prevalence (diagnosed and undiagnosed cases) is projected to increase from 14% in 2010 to 21% of the U.S. adult population by 2050, but noted that  if recent increases in diabetes incidence continue and diabetes mortality is relatively low, prevalence will increase to 33% by 2050.

Read entire article here

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

History of diabetes treatment chronicled in New York Historical Society exhibition

Recalling the desperate fight for life that once was waged by juvenile diabetes patients and commemorating the events of the 1921 discovery by Toronto physician Frederick Banting that inaugurated a new era of hope for them and their families, the New York Historical Society will present the exhibition "Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin" from October 5, 2010 through January 31, 2011.

Highlighting the roles of science, government, higher education, and industry in the development and distribution of a life-saving drug, the exhibition will bring to life the personalities who discovered insulin and raced to bring it to the world, and will tell the story of one extraordinary girl — Elizabeth Evans Hughes, daughter of statesman and Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes — who was among the very first patients to be saved.

"This is a powerful story that deals with type 1 diabetes and the discovery of insulin in that very early period. You can imagine the number of desperate people all over the world who wanted [an effective treatment]," said Stephen Edidin, chief curator of the Society's Museum Division. 

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Gestational diabetes test may predict Type 2 diabetes among women

A new Tel Aviv University study found a test used to diagnose gestational diabetes in women could be a key indicator to diagnosing Type 2 diabetes.

The study -- led by Gabriel Chodick of Tel Aviv University's department of epidemiology and preventive medicine at the Sackler faculty of medicine -- found that women who "failed" the glucose challenge test, a series of four blood tests conducted over a single four-hour period, have a higher chance of developing adult onset diabetes later in life. Chodick and colleagues collected data on more than 185,000 women in Israel who took the glucose challenge test, then acquired information from the nation's health registry as to what percentage of these women contracted diabetes later in life.

Read more here

Friday, October 8, 2010

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes mellitus, usually called diabetes, is a disease in which your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in your blood. A high blood sugar level can cause problems in many parts of your body.

Are there different types of diabetes?

The most common ones are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children. It is also called juvenile onset diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this type, your pancreas does not make enough insulin and you have to take insulin injections for the rest of your life.

Type 2 diabetes, which is more common, usually occurs in people over 40 and is called adult onset diabetes mellitus. It is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In Type 2, your pancreas makes insulin, but your body does not use it properly. The high blood sugar level often can be controlled by following a diet and/or taking medication, although some patients must take insulin. Type 2 diabetes is particularly prevalent among African Americans, American Indians, Latin Americans and Asian Americans.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Air pollution may be linked to diabetes, study finds

Diabetes could partially be related to air pollution, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and published in this month’s issue of the journal Diabetes Care, found that diabetes in adults was consistently correlated with particulate air pollution even after adjusting for known risk factors, such as obesity and ethnicity.
The researchers based the study on fine particulates of between 0.1 and 2.5 nanometers, known as PM2.5, a component of haze, smoke and car exhaust, obtaining county-by-county data from the Environmental Protection Agency for 2004 and 2005. They then combined that data with diabetes data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Census Bureau to find the prevalence of adult diabetes and adjust for such risk factors as obesity, exercise, geography, ethnicity and population density.

Read entire article here