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Type 2 Diabetes, Once Considered A Disease For Adults, Is Increasingly Common In Tweens And Teens

Type 2 diabetes, once considered a disease for adults, is increasingly common in tweens and teens

Type 2 diabetes, once considered a disease for adults, is increasingly common in tweens and teens

For years, health experts have bemoaned the rise of childhood obesity in the United States. About 17% of kids and teens in the U.S. are now considered obese, a figure that has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A report in this week’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine lays out one of the consequences of all this excess weight: a corresponding increase in childhood cases of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when extra body fat makes it hard for cells to use insulin, a hormone that turns sugar into energy. Over time, blood sugar levels rise and cause blood vessels to become stiff, increasing the risk of life-threatening conditions like heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, among others. More than 75,000 Americans die of diabetes each year, the CDC says.
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, because it would take years to develop. (That’s in contrast to type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, which occurs when the immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.) But these days, doctors are diagnosing type 2 in school-age kids, and occasionally even in toddlers.
After reviewing data on 10- to 19-year-olds in primarily five states (California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington), researchers determined that 12.5 out of every 100,000 of them had a bona fide case of type 2 diabetes in 2011 and 2012. That compares with nine cases per 100,000 youth in 2002 and 2003.
After accounting for age, gender, race and ethnicity, the study authors fo Continue reading

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Periodontitis Linked to Diabetes Mellitus

Periodontitis Linked to Diabetes Mellitus

Dental practices should focus on patients with severe periodontitis for screening of prediabetes
Diabetes has been an ongoing global health issue that has been associated with various other health conditions. Multiple studies have demonstrated the connection between diabetes and one such oral condition, periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the supporting structures of the teeth. Its prevalence is 2X higher in those over 50 years old and 2-3X higher in patients with diabetes than in a normal healthy person. It is mainly associated with uncontrolled diabetes making them susceptible to infections and impaired wound healing.
Diabetes is a preventable disease, thus early diagnosis of prediabetes is essential for the prevention of diabetes and related complications. Studies suggest that periodontitis is an early complication of diabetes and it may be used as a tool to screen patients for diabetes early on. Although most dental practices lack equipment for blood biochemistry, measurements of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) may assist to screen for diabetes in patients with diabetes. The study aims to analyze HbA1c levels and affirm the presence of prediabetes in participants with or without periodontitis from a university dental clinic using analysis of dry blood spots. In a study, a consecutive series of patients from the Department of Periodontology of the Academic Centre of Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA) who were diagnosed with periodontitis were to be enrolled for the treatment. A total of 313 participants were included, amon Continue reading

The Diabetes Drug That Could Be an Anti-Aging Miracle

The Diabetes Drug That Could Be an Anti-Aging Miracle

In a slew of recent flashy endeavors, scientists, academics and exceptionally rich people have taken on the aging process. In 2013, Google launched Calico, its billion-dollar anti-aging research and development arm, which the following year formed a partnership with pharmaceutical giant AbbVie. Meanwhile, another major drug company, Novartis, is developing a patentable form of rapamycin—a biological agent discovered in the soil on Easter Island—which has been shown to boost immune function, and the company hopes it could become the first viable anti-aging pill.
But, according to Dr. Nir Barzilai, a scientist based in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City’s Bronx borough, we might already have the drug we need to slow the aging process—and it’s dirt cheap. Metformin is an old, generic diabetes drug, known for its blood sugar–lowering properties and for being quite safe. It’s common, and it costs about 35 cents per pill. It has also been found to stall the aging process in animal studies.
In June, Barzilai, along with academics from the not-for-profit American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), approached the Food and Drug Administration with an idea: the Targeting Aging With Metformin (TAME) study, to see if metformin could do for humans what it does for animals. It would be the first clinical trial to test if a drug could slow human aging. The FDA said yes, and since that June meeting the media has exploded with excitement over the purported “fountain of youth” drug, with rumors that it could extend human life span up to 120 years.
Th Continue reading

Is Your Child at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

Is Your Child at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes was formerly found only in adults. But now doctors find the condition in a rapidly growing number of children in the United States. Poor diet and inactivity are at least partly to blame. Is your child at risk?
According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the number of young people (ages 10-19) diagnosed with the condition increased by nearly 5 percent each year between 2000 and 2012.
This uptick worries experts. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to end up with complications like heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, blindness and kidney damage. You’re more likely to see complications when your diabetes is not well controlled.
What are the risk factors for children?
These factors increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes in children and teens:
Family history of diabetes
Unhealthy diet
Lack of physical activity
Obesity or being overweight
Ethnicity may also play a role in risk. The NEJM study found the rate of increase among Caucasian children was relatively low, but higher among African-Americans and Asian-Americans. Native Americans had the highest rate of increase at nearly 9 percent a year.
What symptoms should you watch for?
Most pediatricians will talk about weight loss or other treatment if your child’s body mass index is 85 percent or higher at a doctor’s visit. Another potential clue that your child may have diabetes is acanthosis nigricans, or a dark discoloration of the skin in the body’s folds and creases.
Unfortunately, most symptoms of type 2 diabetes often don’t show up until the condition is Continue reading

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