Type 1 Diabetes May Shorten Life Expectancy, But Early Intensive Treatment May Help Restore Lost Years

At age 20, men with type 1 diabetes have an estimated loss of life expectancy of 11 years; for women, it’s a loss of 13 years compared with nondiabetics. The JAMA findings come from an analysis of individuals in Scotland with type 1 diabetes who were ≥20 years old from 2008 through 2010 and were in a nationwide register.

PTSD Symptoms May Increase Women’s Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Women experiencing the most symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have almost 2 times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women not exposed to trauma. Almost half of the increased risk was due to higher BMI and antidepressant use associated with PTSD. The JAMA Psychiatry findings come from an analysis of the Nurses' Health Study II data from 49,739 participants followed for 22 years. PTSD symptoms were associated in a dose-response fashion with diabetes incidence.

Blueberry Consumption May Improve Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness

In a recent study, postmenopausal women with pre-hypertension and stage-1 hypertension who received 22 g of freeze-dried blueberry powder (the equivalent to 1 cup of fresh blueberries) daily for 8 weeks experienced an average 7 mm Hg (5.1%) drop in systolic blood pressure and an average 5 mm Hg (6.3%) drop in diastolic blood pressure compared with women who received a placebo powder.

Sulfonylurea May Increase Testosterone in Men with Type 2 Diabetes

Compared with 15 healthy controls, 15 men with type 2 diabetes from a clinical trial of glimepiride had reduced total testosterone levels and a lower testosterone secretion index. However, after 16 weeks of treatment there were significant increases in total testosterone levels and testosterone secretion index values compared with baseline, and significant improvements in blood glucose and lipid profile levels, with no differences in body weight and waist circumference compared with baseline values.

Optimism May Lead to Better Heart Health

Among 5000 adults, optimistic people were more likely than their pessimistic counterparts to be in ideal cardiovascular health. Investigators allocated 0, 1, or 2 points (representing poor, intermediate and ideal scores, respectively) to participants on each of the 7 health metrics used by the American Heart Association to define heart health. After factoring in socioeconomic factors, people who were the most optimistic, as assessed through surveys, were twice as likely to have ideal cardiovascular health and 55% more likely to have a total health score in the intermediate range.

Gene Variants Affect Drugs’ Ability to Improve Heart Health

Patients with cardiovascular disease and the appropriate genetic background experienced a 39% reduction in combined clinical outcomes including heart attacks, strokes, unstable angina, coronary revascularizations and cardiovascular deaths when taking an investigational medication called dalcetrapib, a new study shows. These patients also benefited from a reduction in the amount of atherosclerosis in their vessels. Patients who experienced these benefits had certain variants in the adenylate cyclase 9 (ADCY9) gene on chromosome 16.

Many Patients Receive Aspirin Inappropriately for the Prevention of Heart Disease

In a nationwide sample of 68,808 patients receiving aspirin for primary cardiovascular disease prevention from 2008 to 2013, 11.6% of patients were receiving aspirin inappropriately. The frequency of inappropriate use was higher among women, at nearly 17% compared with 5% in men. Patients inappropriately receiving aspirin were, on average, 16 years younger than those receiving aspirin appropriately.

Metabolic Syndrome May Increase Women’s Risk of Endometrial Cancer

A recent study found that women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome using criteria set by the US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) were 39% more likely to develop endometrial cancer, while those diagnosed using International Diabetes Foundation criteria were 109% more likely to develop the cancer. After adjusting for overweight/obesity, women with metabolic syndrome under ATP III and International Diabetes Foundation criteria were 21% and 17% more likely to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer, respectively.

Cooking Methods May Help Optimize Menus for Dialysis Patients

Analysis of how different cooking methods affect the content of hospital food served to dialysis patients found boiling in water and stewing in oil containing some water significantly reduced phosphorus content without affecting protein content. Soaking meat in cold water for 1 hour before cooking reduced phosphorus content even more.

Potassium Salts May Provide Important Benefits for Bone Health

A meta-analysis of 14 studies confirms that supplementation with alkaline potassium salts (bicarbonate and citrate) leads to significant reductions in urinary calcium and acid excretion, as well as decreased bone resorption. This means that excess acid is neutralized and bone mineral is preserved. The Osteoporosis International findings suggest that eating more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium salts, could be a way to improve bone strength and prevent osteoporosis.