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Study finds dramatic improvement in blood-sugar control among diabetes patients

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Control of A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol among patients with diabetes has improved markedly, but more room for improvement remains, according to a new study.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published online in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Diabetes Care, found that from 1988 to 2010, the number of people with diabetes able to meet or exceed measures of A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol — which together indicate good diabetes management — rose from 2% to 19%. More than half of people met each individual goal in 2010.

"The most impressive finding was the significant improvement in diabetes management over time across all groups," said senior study author and director of the Diabetes Epidemiology Program at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Catherine Cowie. "However, we see a lot of room for improvement for everyone, but particularly for younger people and some minority groups."

The study was based on data from the "National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys" from 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2010. According to 2007-2010 data, 53% of Americans with diabetes met A1C goals, compared with 43% in 1988-1994; 51% met blood pressure goals, compared with 33% in 1988-1994; and 56% met cholesterol goals, compared with 10% in 1988-1994. Improvements in cholesterol were attributed to increased use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

Many people’s goal A1C level is less than 7%. According to the American Diabetes Association, 26 million Americans have diabetes, while 79 million have pre-diabetes, meaning they are at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Nevertheless, blood glucose control was found to be worse among Mexican-Americans and younger adults, with 44% of Mexican Americans attaining their A1C goals, compared with 53% of whites and blacks; people ages 20 to 49 years were also less likely to meet their A1C goals than older people.

"It is particularly disturbing that good control was seen less frequently in young people," NIDDK Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases director Judith Fradkin said. "Research has shown that good diabetes control early in the course of disease has long-lasting benefits reducing the risk of complications. For people with long life expectancy after diagnosis of diabetes, it’s especially important to focus on meeting diabetes management goals as early as possible, because with that longer life comes a greater chance of developing complications if they do not control their diabetes."


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Reports: Insurers, employers support YMCA diabetes program

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The YMCA is sponsoring a diabetes-control program that some say could slow the disease’s spread, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the program has been shown in research to potentially reduce the incidence of the disease through a combination of exercise, dieting and individual counseling. The research has led employers and insurers to provide funding for the program and enroll participants, including UnitedHealth Group; the Y receives reimbursement for people enrolling people in a year-long diabetes prevention course, and receives more money if patients lose 5% to 7% of body weight.

In June 2012, the nonprofit group received a Health Care Innovation Award of nearly $12 million over three years from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to conduct a demonstration project in 17 communities around the country to deliver the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to 10,000 Medicare enrollees.


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Cascades makes short list for innovation awards

BY Alaric DeArment

CANDIAC, Quebec — Cascades has been named a finalist in the 2013 Edison Awards, the company said Monday.

The company said its antibacterial paper towels made the short list in the awards’ "Consumer Packaged Goods: Cleaning Solutions" category. Award winners will be named on April 25 at the Edison Awards Annual Gala in Chicago.

"We are honored to be considered for such a renowned award, among so many other great innovations," Cascades Tissue Group CEO Suzanne Blanchet said. "While our antibacterial paper towel is a groundbreaking innovation, it also makes good common sense for human health."

 

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