Diabetes rises to new high in the U. S. as communities take action

BY JANE KENNEDY: The prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. climbed to a new high of 11.6 percent last year, up from 10.6 percent in 2008, according to a new report by Gallup and Sharecare, titled “The Face of Diabetes in the United States.”

“If the diabetes rate had held steady at its 2008 level rather than increased, 2.5 million fewer U.S. adults would have the disease today. Hospitals, health systems, employers, community leaders and other champions of population health are implementing both inpatient and outpatient solutions to address this rising epidemic,” said the report released this summer.

Without differentiating between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the report analyzes diabetes prevalence across key demographics, occupations, and regions. Neither does it take into account whether those surveyed were undergoing treatment. Rather, the new numbers are based on the answer to the question, “Has a doctor or nurse ever told you that you have diabetes?” (read more)

Could artificial intelligence detect your diabetic retinopathy?

BY VANESSA CACERES: If you have diabetes, you’re at risk for a condition called diabetic retinopathy. If not treated properly, severe diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.

Eye doctors recommend that anyone with diabetes get a dilated eye exam at least once a year to check for diabetic retinopathy, even if you don’t have any vision-related symptoms. “You can have severe disease but not be aware of any changes to the eyes,” says Dr. Lloyd P. Aiello, director of the Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. (read more)

Flu shot key for people with diabetes

BY HEALTHDAY: With predictions calling for a potentially bad flu season this year, doctors are urging people—particularly those with diabetes—to get vaccinated.

Many people with diabetes don’t get a seasonal flu shot each year, according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). Some people with the blood sugar disease don’t realize they’re at risk for flu-related complications. Others have misguided fears that the shot will trigger an adverse reaction, the group explained. (read more)

‘More weight-loss surgery needed to combat diabetes’

BY JERSEY EVENING POST: More than 2,000 Islanders would be eligible for drastic weight-loss surgery if the Island followed official National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, according to Jersey’s leading diabetes expert.

However, the surgery costs around £8,000 per person and currently the Health Department only has funding for 12 such operations annually. (read more)

The risk of type 1 diabetes not increased by swine flu vaccine Pandemrix

BY LUND UNIVERSITY: There has been a fear that the swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix, would increase the risk of autoimmune diseases other than narcolepsy. However, a new study of children from Sweden and Finland shows that the vaccine increased neither the risk of developing autoantibodies against insulin-producing beta cells nor the occurrence of type 1 diabetes.

“On the contrary, the risk was reduced among vaccinated  in Finland, which is something we will now investigate further”, says Helena Elding Larsson, researcher at Lund University and physician at Skåne University Hospital, who conducted the study. (read more)

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