Archive for the 'Diabetes' Category

Arsenic in well water

Well waterArsenic is leached into groundwater mainly from natural mineral deposits.

A recent study found an association between environmental exposure to arsenic, found mainly in drinking water, and type 2 diabetes. Among 93 people who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, mean total urinary arsenic levels were 26% higher than in non-diabetic participants the researchers found.

Arsenic levels in drinking water are typically much lower in the U.S., where the Environmental Protection Agency has set a limit of 10 mcg/L for public water supplies. However, private well water is not covered by the EPA standard and arsenic levels may be higher, particularly in southwestern states. They estimated that about 13 million Americans live in areas where public water systems exceed the EPA standard for arsenic, not counting an unknown number with private water supplies. People drinking well water, particularly in the southwestern U.S., should have their water tested for arsenic.

via Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Navas-Acien A, et al., “Arsenic exposure and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in U.S. adults” JAMA 2008; 300: 814-22.

via MedPage Today, August 19, 2008

Diabetes and obesity set the stage for heart disease

Women who are obese and diabetic have an 80% risk of developing heart disease, whereas normal-weight, nondiabetic women have a 34% risk, according to researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.  Also, men with diabetes and obesity have a nearly 90% risk versus a 49% risk in normal-weight, nondiabetic men. Diabetes on its own significantly raises the lifetime risk of heart disease, but obesity worsens the situation.

via Diabetes Care, August 2008

Read more:
Diabetes, Take Control Before It Controls You
Exercise, and Getting Started
Weight Control

Metabolic syndrome linked with heavy drinking

AlcoholExcessive drinking increases the risk of the metabolic syndrome, according to researchers from the CDC.
Consuming more than two drinks a day for men and more than one for women appears to increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by 60%. 

The metabolic syndrome is defined as three or more of the following:

  • Impaired fasting glucose, diagnosis of diabetes, and/or taking insulin or diabetic medication
  • Raised plasma triglycerides
  • Low serum HDL cholesterol
  • Abdominal obesity
  • Elevated blood pressure or taking antihypertensive medication

About 20% of men and 19% of women have metabolic syndrome and 72% of men and 68% of women have at least one metabolic abnormality.

via Fan AZ, et al “Patterns of alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2007-2788. /MedPage Today, July 30, 2008

Do you know your Vitamin D levels?

Vitamin D is gaining increasing attention for its role in maintaining good health and preventing disease. But despite its benefits, many adults and children still do not receive adequate vitamin D.

New research has shed increasing light on the many benefits of Vitamin D and also revealed widespread deficiencies in both adults and children across the country.  This has prompted a surge in the number of general practitioners and pediatricians who are now routinely screening for adequate blood levels of Vitamin D and recommending Vitamin D supplementation. 

Vitamin D has many important roles in promoting good health in that it helps calcium build strong bones, helps regulate the immune system and the neuromuscular system, and also plays a major role in the life cycle of human cells. Many recent studies have found that low Vitamin D levels are linked with many serious, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, gum disease, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, osteoporosis, and possibly cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

The new National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines for adults 50 years and older is 800–1,000 IU of vitamin D3/day (along with 1,200 mg of calcium/day). Currently, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D in adults ages 51-70 is only 400 IUs (with 200 IUs or less for younger ages)*, which, according to the researchers, leaves circulating blood levels of the the vitamin too low to have a positive effect on certain disease prevention. *The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set the Upper Limits (UL) for vitamin D at 1,000 IU for infants up to 12 months of age and 2,000 IU for children, adults, pregnant, and lactating women.

Talk to your health care provider about about checking a blood test for Vitamin D levels.

via Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, June 2008
via Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Infants and Toddlers from MedPage Today,
Vitamin D, from Bay Area Medical Information,

Mental decline linked with type 2 diabetes

Older adults with type 2 diabetes appear to have a steeper mental decline as they age, according to Harvard researchers.  One of the reasons for this is that diabetes damages blood vessels, and it can certainly damage the blood vessels that supply the brain. 

These findings confirm previous studies and adds to the current body of knowledge about the ravages of this disease.   Diabetes was known in ancient times and remains today a world-wide and increasing health problem.  One of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, it is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body.

In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.  It is associated with older age, obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently.  

There is a very significant correlation with the rise of obesity in this country and the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes.  Since the mid-seventies, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased sharply for both adults and children in this country and this raises very serious concern about Americans’ future health.

via Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, June 2008
via Diabetes, Bay Area Medical Information