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Saturday, June 25, 2011

350 million adults have diabetes: Study reveals the scale of global epidemic

A major international study collating and analyzing worldwide data on diabetes since 1980 has found that the number of adults with the disease reached 347 million in 2008, more than double the number in 1980. The research, published today in The Lancet, reveals that the prevalence of diabetes has risen or at best remained unchanged in virtually every part of the world over the last three decades.

Diabetes occurs when the cells of the body are not able to take up sugar in the form of glucose. As a consequence, the amount of glucose in the blood is higher than normal. Over time, this raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, and can also cause damage to the kidneys, nerves and retinas. High blood glucose and diabetes are responsible for over three million deaths worldwide each year.

The new study found that between 1980 and 2008, the number of adults with diabetes rose from 153 million to 347 million. Seventy per cent of the rise was due to population growth and ageing, with the other 30 per cent due to higher prevalence. The proportion of adults with diabetes rose to 9.8 per cent of men and 9.2 per cent of women in 2008, compared with 8.3 per cent of men and 7.5 per cent of women in 1980.

The estimated number of diabetics was considerably higher than a previous study in 2009 which put the number worldwide at 285 million.

The study, the largest of its kind for diabetes, was carried out by an international collaboration of researchers, led by Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London and co-led by Dr. Goodarz Danaei from the Harvard School of Public Health, in collaboration with The World Health Organization and a number of other institutions.

Professor Majid Ezzati, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said "Diabetes is one of the biggest causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Our study has shown that diabetes is becoming more common almost everywhere in the world. This is in contrast to blood pressure and cholesterol, which have both fallen in many regions. Diabetes is much harder to prevent and treat than these other conditions."

Dr. Goodarz Danaei, from the Harvard School of Public Health, added "Unless we develop better programmes for detecting people with elevated blood sugar and helping them to improve their diet and physical activity and control their weight, diabetes will inevitably continue to impose a major burden on health systems around the world."

To test whether or not someone has diabetes, doctors measure the levels of glucose in a patient's blood after they have not eaten for 12 to 14 hours, since blood sugar rises after a meal. A "fasting plasma glucose" (FPG) below 5.6 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) is considered normal, above 7 mmol/L is diagnostic of diabetes and an FPG level between 5.6 and 7 is considered pre-diabetes.

The study included blood sugar measurements from 2.7 million participants aged 25 years or more across the world and used advanced statistical methods for analyzing data. According to the results, average fasting sugar rose from 5.3 mmol/L in men and 5.2 mmol/L in women in 1980 to 5.5 mmol/L in men and 5.4 mmol/L in women in 2008, even after accounting for age differences over time.

The study also found that:

* Diabetes has taken off most dramatically in Pacific Island nations, which now have the highest diabetes levels in the world. In the Marshall Islands, one in three women and one in four men have diabetes. Glucose and diabetes were also particularly high in south Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.
* Among high-income countries, the rise in diabetes was relatively small in Western Europe and highest in North America. Diabetes and glucose levels were highest in USA, Greenland, Malta, New Zealand and Spain, and lowest in the Netherlands, Austria and France.
* Of the 347 million people with diabetes, 138 million live in China and India and another 36 million in the USA and Russia.
* The region with the lowest glucose levels was sub-Saharan Africa, followed by east and southeast Asia.

###

Funding for the study came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation.

For further information please contact:

Sam Wong
Research Media Officer
Imperial College London
Email: sam.wong@imperial.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0)20 7594 2198
Out of hours duty press officer: +44(0)7803 886 248

Marge Dwyer
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
mhdwyer@hsph.harvard.edu
Tel: +1 617 432 8416

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smoking Kills! New FDA Labels Shows How!


After more than 25 years since the last cigarette labeling requirements, today the FDA released new warning labels that will start to appear on cigarette packaging and advertising in September 2012.

Beginning September 2012, FDA will require larger, more prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States. These warnings mark the first change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years and are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking.


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Should I Get Screened for Prostate Cancer ? YES

If you did not know before, now you know. Get screened, have a peace of mind
Follow the link to find out more.
Why You Should Get Screened for Prostate Cancer ~ Oncowikia Blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#measleschat Twitter Discussion About Measles With Real Doctors.

Do you have questions about current Measles outbreak? Or questions about Measles and Vaccines? Join the Twitter chat going on now with Doctors from CDC and AAP.
Go to your twitter page and type   to join. Following are the announcement, first question and the first answer;
 Questions abt measles & vaccines? Chat live TODAY w/USAToday and w/drs from CDC & AAP at 1 pm EST. Use  to join

Q1: RT : Is the current measles outbreak being driven by unvaccinated people, or a more virulent strain? 

A1: Most patients were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status 



Thursday, June 02, 2011

US Congressional Budget Office Issues A Brief Over Ban On Direct To Consumer Advertising Of New Drugs

A report from the US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examining the potential impact of a two-year ban on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising for new drugs "Potential Effects of a Ban on Direct-to Consumer Advertising of New Prescription Drugs", found the proposed ban would likely have little impact on prices. The drug manufacturers will switch to advertising to doctors to gain from the loss of DTC advertising.
Following is the summery of the CBO article and follow the link below for the complete article.


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs has elicited various concerns. One concern is that DTC advertising may add to spending on drugs by consumers, insurers, and the federal government without providing enough benefits to justify that spending; specifically, some observers worry that DTC advertising encourages broader use of certain drugs than their health benefits warrant. Another concern is that DTC advertising for newly approved drugs may lead people to use drugs whose potential risks were not fully discovered during the drug approval process. Those concerns have spurred recent proposals for a moratorium on advertising brand-name prescription drugs to consumers during the first two years following a drug’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although such a moratorium would allow more time for safety concerns about a new drug to be revealed, it would entail health risks of its own, because some individuals who would benefit from a new drug might be unaware of its availability in the absence of consumer advertising.
A moratorium on direct-to-consumer advertising might affect other marketing strategies used by drug manufacturers and the quantities and prices of drugs sold. To highlight some of those effects, this Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issue brief draws on data
documenting DTC advertising and other promotional activities used by pharmaceutical producers as well as academic analyses of how advertising has affected the market for drugs. The expected effects of a moratorium include the following:
* Drug manufacturers would probably expand their marketing to physicians to substitute for at least some of the banned advertising to consumers.
* The number of prescriptions filled would probably decrease for some drugs. For other drugs, the number of prescriptions might be little changed, owing both to the likely substitution of other types of promotions
and to the various other factors that influence a drug’s reach in the prescription drug market.
* Any change in prescription drug prices would depend on changes in demand; to the extent that the effects on demand are likely to be limited, so too are the effects on prices.
In addition, a moratorium could affect public health. That impact is uncertain, depending on whether the benefits of fewer unexpected adverse health events were larger than the health costs of possibly reduced use of new and effective drugs.

Congressional Budget Office
You can also read FDA's take on the brief at FDA Lawyers Blog

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