Entries in type 2 diabetes (3)


Weight Loss Surgery Cuts Diabetes Risk

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Weight loss surgery is twice as effective as lifestyle changes at preventing type 2 diabetes in people who are obese, a new study found.

The Swedish study followed more than 3,400 obese men and women, roughly half of whom had bariatric surgery, for up to 15 years. It found that bariatric surgery reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 78 percent – double the effect of diet and exercise alone.

"Bariatric surgery appears to be markedly more efficient than usual care in the prevention of type 2 diabetes in obese persons," Dr. Lena Carlsson from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, wrote in the study, published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The surgery, which shrinks the stomach to hold less food and absorb fewer calories, has previously been shown to help treat diabetes. But this study, funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research to Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, the Swedish federal government, the VINNOVA-VINNMER program and the Wenner-Gren Foundations, is the first to suggest it can help prevent the disease.

"Instead of waiting for illness to begin and treat with medications, patients will now have a choice to prevent diabetes," said Dr. Carson Liu, a bariatric surgeon in Los Angeles. "This is a terrific data for decreasing the epidemic of diabetes."

Some experts say the study could broaden the spectrum when it comes to who qualifies for bariatric surgery, as most insurance companies currently cover the procedure only in adults who are obese or overweight with weight-related health problems.

"There are data to suggest that bariatric surgery can be safely employed in [non-obese diabetics]," said Dr. John Morton, associate professor of surgery at Stanford University, who has successfully treated diabetic patients with body mass indices -- or BMIs -- below 35.

"The threshold for metabolic surgery has been 35 for many years, like a brick wall," said Dr. Philip Schauer, director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (BMI) at the Cleveland Clinic. "But that brick wall is like the Berlin Wall, it's coming down. Thirty is potentially the new wall."

Bariatric surgery is thought to cut the risk of diabetes by both reducing weight and changing hormone signaling pathways that control blood sugar levels. After the surgery, blood sugars typically normalize in just a few days -- long before the patient starts to lose weight.

But regardless of the mechanism, experts say the results speak for themselves.

"It is indisputable that bariatric surgery addresses weight-related problems better than medical treatments, regardless of the mechanism," said Dr. Ozanan Meireles, an instructor in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. "All patients would certainly benefit from it, either by achieving remission, by decreasing the amount of medications that they take on a daily basis, or by postponing the onset of diabetes in their lifetime."

Still, experts caution that the decision to go under the knife should not be taken lightly – keeping in mind that bariatric surgery can, in rare cases, cause infections, blood clots, malnutrition, ulcers, vomiting or diarrhea.

"Surgery still has risks," said Dr. Jaime Ponce, president of the Gainesville Fla.-based American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. "There is more and more data supporting surgery, but you need to look at it on a case-by-case basis."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pumping Iron Cuts Diabetes Risk

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pumping iron can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes in men, a new study found.

The study of more than 32,000 men found those who lifted weights for at least two and a half hours a week were 34 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease linked to complications including blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.

"Previous studies have shown that aerobic exercise is beneficial for the prevention of diabetes, but no epidemiological studies had looked at the impact of weight training," said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. "This study demonstrates that weight training has benefits independent of aerobic exercise."

Aerobic exercise helps burns excess fat, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. But weight training helps boosts muscle mass, which is "very important for metabolism and insulin sensitivity," according to Hu.

Merging aerobic exercise and weight training was linked to a 59 percent reduction in diabetes risk, according to the study -- a link that held up even when the researchers controlled for unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.

"The most important message from this study is that combining the two types of exercise confers the largest benefit," said Hu.

Because the study was done in men, it's unclear whether the findings extend to women.

More than 23 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- a number expected to rise as American waistlines expand.

"These studies remind us that the fundamental cornerstone in the management of these pandemics is still lifestyle," Dr. Ruchi Mathur, an endocrinologist at the Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center in Los Angeles, said in an email. "We know that something as simple as walking can enhance insulin sensitivity."

Even people who already have diabetes can benefit from regular exercise, according to a second study published today in the same journal that found "moderately active" diabetics were half as likely to die from cardiovascular complications as their physically inactive counterparts.

"The study reminds us that physical activity does not have to be aggressive to confer cardiovascular benefit in patients with diabetes," said Mathur. "In fact, simple leisure activities such as gardening and walking are beneficial."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Type 2 Diabetes in Children Harder to Treat

Fuse/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that Type 2 diabetes progresses more rapidly in children than in adults and is harder to treat.

The study, which was released Monday, found the usual oral medicine for Type 2 diabetes stopped working in about half of the young patients within a few years. Doctors also had to add daily shots of insulin to control their blood sugar. Researchers said that they were shocked by how poorly the oral drugs performed because they work much better in adults.

“It’s frightening how severe this metabolic disease is in children,” Dr. David M. Nathan, an author of the study and director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the New York Times. “It’s really got a hold on them, and it’s hard to turn around.”

While researchers say aggressive forms of treatment can lower the risks, doctors are still unclear as to why it is so much harder to control in children and teenagers. Researchers say rapid growth and intense hormonal changes are likely factors in how diabetes effects teens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio