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“Unacceptable inequality” in Scotland for people with diabetes

Cuttings from the media

Diabetes Scotland has published its annual report concluding that there is “unacceptable inequality” in care for people with diabetes in Scotland.

Approximately 276 000 people in Scotland (5.2% of the population) are diagnosed with diabetes. The report also highlighted significant differences between health boards in the number of people getting essential check-ups aimed at avoiding serious complications. For example, its figures suggested the number receiving foot checks alone varied from 60% in Grampian, to 85% in Tayside.

– BBC News, 31 August 2015

Caesarean birth may increase baby’s risk of diabetes
Caesarean section delivery procedures may increase the baby’s risk of developing chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes and obesity.

The research carried out by Dr Jan Blustein, a professor of medicine and health policy at New York University, and published in the British Medical Journal, suggests the link is strong enough that mothers should discuss the risk with their health professional when weighing whether to proceed with a C-section, particularly when a vaginal delivery may be possible. They found 20 studies linking C-section to childhood type 1 diabetes, 23 studies connecting C-section to asthma and nine suggesting a tie to obesity.

Reuters,10 June 2015

Contribution of loss of dietary diversity to obesity and T2D
The loss of dietary diversity during the past 50 years could be a contributing factor to the rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal (GI) problems and other diseases – a theory put forward by Mark Heiman, vice president and chief scientific officer at MicroBiome Therapeutics. 

Heiman believes diet is the principle regulator of the GI microbiome, the ecosystem of the human GI tract. In his research, Heiman found people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes had a different microbiome makeup to people without those health conditions.

ScienceDaily, 14 July 2015

Walking and standing to reduce diabetes an heart disease risk
A research team led by the University of Queensland, Australia found that people who spent more time standing and walking had lower levels of blood glucose, circulating fats and cholesterol, and were thinner and at lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.

By requesting participants wear activity monitors for 1 week, the authors of the article published in the European Heart Journal found that individuals who spent 2 hours longer each day walking or standing rather than sitting had a smaller waist circumference by an average of 3 inches and a lower BMI by 11% than those who did not.

– Daily Mail, 31 July 2015

Genetic testing for babies with diabetes
Genetic testing for babies diagnosed with diabetes used to take over 4 years to complete. In the past 10 years, this time has reduced to just under 2 months, which has revolutionised healthcare for these young patients by pinpointing the exact genetic causes of sometimes rare forms of diabetes.

Previously genetic testing would only be carried out years after diagnosis and genes would only be tested one at a time, now babies with diabetes are immediately tested after diagnosis for all possible 22 genetic causes of diabetes.

Early genetic testing means that clinical features can be predicted before they develop, which allows health professionals to anticipate the likely complications and put the appropriate care in place to reduce their impact rather than waiting for symptoms to occur.

This follows from a large study published in The Lancet, which reports the results of genetic testing in 1020 young patients over the past 10 years.

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