Today's Medical News From Newspapers, TV, Radio and the Journals. Prepared exclusively for members of American Medical Association In affiliation with US News and World Report
Customized Briefing for Dr. Jarir Nakouzi Friday, October 31, 2008
Leading the News Data indicate rate of new diabetes cases in the U.S. nearly doubled between 1995 and 2007.
The CBS Evening News (10/30, story 6, :20, Couric) reported that, on Thursday, the government announced "a big jump in diabetes, especially type 2, the kind linked to obesity."
Bloomberg News (10/31, Randall) reports, "New cases of diabetes almost doubled over 10 years in the U.S., a trend worsened by high rates of obesity and inactivity in the South," according to a study published Oct. 31 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The data showed that "the U.S. rate of diabetes increased to 9.1 cases for every 1,000 people in 2005-2007 from 4.8 in 1995-1997." Notably, "states with the highest rates, adjusted for age, were mostly in the South: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Minnesota had the fewest cases, with five of every 1,000 people, and West Virginia had the most, with 13. The report didn't explore why the rate varied."
For the study, lead author Karen Kirtland, Ph.D., of the CDC, and colleagues, conducted "a random-digit-dialed survey of more than 260,000 adults," the AP (10/31, Stobbe) adds. Respondents "were asked if they had ever been told by a doctor that they have diabetes, and when the diagnosis was made. The comparisons between 1995-97 and 2005-07 covered only the 33 states for which the CDC had complete data for both time periods." The data showed that approximately "90 percent of cases are type 2 diabetes." People with type 2 diabetes "do not produce or use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar into energy. The illness can cause sugar to build up in the body, leading to complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and poor circulation that leads to foot amputations."
HealthDay (10/30, Reinberg) noted that "an estimated 23.6 million American adults and children have diabetes, but almost one-quarter of them are unaware they have the disease." According to David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Yale University School of Medicine's Prevention Research Center, "reversing the obesity epidemic is key to cutting the rate of type 2 diabetes." He added, "We have known for some time that type 2 diabetes is a worsening epidemic in the United States and much of the world. ... We now have evidence that the rate at which new cases of diabetes are developing is also increasing." Dr. Katz also pointed out that these findings "could have frightening implications for future generations of Americans," because "with the entire adult population of the United States projected to be overweight or obese by 2048, should current trends persist, diabetes is a clear and present danger to us all. That threat will persist and worsen, until we resolve to turn back the tide of epidemic obesity." MedPage Today (10/30, Gever), WebMD (10/30, DeNoon), and the Chicago Tribune (10/30, Graham) Triage blog also covered the story. Public Health Group says U.S. should use health IT to combat risk of infectious diseases.
Healthcare IT News (10/30, Monegain) reported, "Every state and local health department should put interoperable information technology to work on combating the rising risk of infectious diseases across the country," according to a new report titled, Germs Go Global: Why Emerging Infectious Diseases Are a Threat to America, that was released by the Trust for America's Health. The report showed that "at least 170,000 Americans die annually from newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, a number that could increase dramatically during a severe flu pandemic, or yet-unknown disease, outbreak. Factors including globalization, increased drug resistance, and climate and weather changes are contributing to the increased threat," the authors stated. They concluded that "the United States needs to be a leader in efforts to accurately assess the burden of infectious diseases in developing countries, detect the emergence of new microbial threats, and direct global prevention and control efforts."
Pharma and Device Update Consumer group says Avandia should be removed from market.
The AP (10/30) reported that the consumer group, Public Citizen, filed a petition with the FDA to have the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) taken off the market "because of a wide variety of life-threatening risks, including heart and liver damage." The petition "was the second setback in as many weeks for the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) medication. Last week, the American Diabetes Association and a European counterpart jointly released updated treatment guidelines for doctors that pointedly recommended against using Avandia." Public Citizen "said its own research found 14 cases of liver failure associated with Avandia, 12 of which led to death. The petition also said Avandia predisposes some patients to eye problems, anemia, and bone fractures."
The Wall Street Journal (10/31, Dooren) reports, "The clouds around...Avandia darkened" yesterday. With regard to Public Citizen, the FDA "said it will carefully review the petition. FDA officials have said there is a split within the agency about whether to pull Avandia off the market, or allow it to stay, but with stronger warnings."
Bloomberg News (10/30, Blum) quotes GSK spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne as saying, "We do not believe there is a connection between liver toxicity and this medicine."