PHARMACY

Study finds insufficient sleep may be linked to increased diabetes risk

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Short sleep times may contribute to the development of insulin resistance and reduced glucose tolerance, which in turn may increase the long-term risk of diabetes, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Sleep curtailment is increasingly common, which is characterized by physical inactivity and overeating. Today, many Americans sleep fewer than six hours each night and individuals who report such short sleep times have in previous studies demonstrated an increased risk of developing diabetes. This new study examined whether reduced sleep duration itself may increase the risk of developing diabetes when combined with physical inactivity and overeating.

Researchers in this study subjected a group of healthy middle-aged men and women to two controlled 14-day periods of sedentary living with free access to food and 5.5 or 8.5 hour bedtimes. When the subjects had their bedtimes decreased from 8.5 hours to 5.5 hours they showed changes in their response to two common sugar tests, which were similar to those seen in people with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

“Our findings raise the possibility that when the unhealthy aspects of the Westernized lifestyle are combined with reduced sleep duration, this might contribute to the increased risk of many overweight and sedentary individuals developing diabetes,” said Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago and a senior author of the study. “If confirmed by future larger studies, these results would indicate that a healthy lifestyle should include not only healthy eating habits and adequate amounts of physical activity, but also obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep.”

Since the conclusions of this study are based on the detailed evaluation of a small group of subjects over a limited period of time under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, Penev emphasizes that additional intervention studies will be needed to examine the impact of habitual sleep curtailment on human glucose metabolism.

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MinuteClinic offering new rapid pink eye test in Atlanta market

BY Antoinette Alexander

ATLANTA MinuteClinic, in partnership with Rapid Pathogen Screening, is offering a new rapid pink eye test at its 23 locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in the Atlanta area, and hopes to eventually offer the test nationally at all its clinic locations in 25 states.

“MinuteClinic patients will get on-the-spot results that provide a more precise pink eye diagnosis,” stated Donna Haugland, MinuteClinic chief nursing officer. “This helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics and can lead to prescription savings.”

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is an infectious — and frequently highly contagious — condition that is most often caused by either a virus or bacteria. It is often spread among children in close environments such as schools, camps and recreational activities.

Until now, the accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of pink eye has been difficult, according to MinuteClinic. While treatment with antibiotics is only necessary in 40% to 60% of cases, the majority of medical professionals prescribe antibiotics nearly 100% of the time.

Indiscriminately prescribing antibiotics compounds the side effects associated with their overuse and increases patient resistance to these medications.

The cost for conjunctivitis treatment is $77.

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Survey finds most moms do not keep kids up to date with vaccinations

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK A new survey released last week reports that most moms know their children need additional vaccines beyond those received when they were infants or small children. But according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, most pre-teens and teens do not have all the vaccinations that the agency recommends.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, with support from Merck, found that 4-out-of-5 moms of pre-teens and teenagers agree that pre-teens and teenagers need additional vaccines beyond those they received when they were younger.

“These results mirror what I see in my own practice — a lot of adolescents not up to date on their vaccines, in spite of their parents awareness of the need for them,” stated Lolita McDavid, a pediatrician practicing at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. “Taking your kids — including pre-teens and teens — for an annual check-up should be as routine as buying them school supplies. I encourage all moms to schedule an appointment with their child’s health care professional today and to visit www.cdc.gov to learn more about the vaccines recommended for pre-teens and teens.”

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