HEALTH

Study: Vitamin D deficiency may lead to arterial stiffness in black teens

BY Michael Johnsen

CHEVY CHASE, Md. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke in African-American teens, according to a new study accepted for publication on The Endocrine Society’s website, Endo-society.org.

“While we think of the sun as providing humans with most of our body’s requirement of vitamin D, 95% of the 44 black teenagers living in sunny Georgia who took part in this study were classified as vitamin D deficient,” stated Yanbin Dong, lead author of the study. “Our study shows that vitamin D supplementation may improve cardiovascular health in black teens who don’t get enough vitamin D from their diet and sun exposure.”

In this study, 44 black teenagers (male and female) were randomly assigned to receive either 400 IU of vitamin D per day as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics or 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Study subjects taking 400 IU of vitamin D per day did not achieve vitamin D sufficiency, while their peers who took 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day on average became vitamin D sufficient.

Black teens taking vitamin D supplementation of 2,000 international units (IU) per day had a decrease in central arterial stiffness.

“Our study is the first clinical trial of vitamin D intervention to use 2,000 IU in black subjects and to include cardiovascular risk factors as outcomes in youth,” Dong said. “Our study indicates that the current recommendations for vitamin D intake in black teenagers may need to be revised upward.”

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Bayer Diabetes Care updates devices under National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program

BY Michael Johnsen

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Bayer Diabetes Care has successfully completed certification of its A1CNow+ and A1CNow Selfcheck devices under a tighter performance certification standard that went into effect Jan. 1.

The new performance certification standards applicable to devices that measure A1C (or glycated hemoglobin) as set by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) changed to +/-0.75% A1C, 95% CI, 4-10.0% A1C range.

Bayer received a new NGSP certificate valid from July 1, 2010 through July 1, 2011.  The previous criteria for last year’s NGSP certification was +/-0.85% A1C, 95% CI, 4-12.0% A1C range.

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Study: Two therapies may slow diabetic retinopathy in Type 2 diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. In high-risk adults with Type 2 diabetes, researchers have found that two therapies may slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that is the leading cause of vision loss in working-age Americans.

Intensive blood-sugar control reduced the progression of diabetic retinopathy, compared with standard blood-sugar control, and combination lipid therapy with a fibrate and statin also reduced disease progression, compared with statin therapy alone. However, intensive blood pressure control provided no additional benefit to patients compared with standard blood pressure control.

 

Results of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Eye Study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, recently were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the 70th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

 

 

"This is the largest study to date examining the effects of blood sugar, combination lipid therapy, and blood pressure control on the prevention of diabetic retinopathy progression using retinal photographs," stated Walter Ambrosius, a professor of biostatistical sciences in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and principal investigator of the ACCORD Eye study’s coordinating center, in a release issued Friday. "Many people with diabetes have microvascular problems, which can result in problems with the kidneys and amputation of toes and feet, and the only place that you can directly observe the microvasculature is in the back of the eyes. What we have seen in the eyes is potentially an indicator of what is happening in other parts of the body."

 

 

"The ACCORD Eye Study clearly indicates that intensive glycemic control and fibrate treatment added to statin therapy separately reduce the progression of diabetic retinopathy," added Emily Chew, chair of the Eye Study and chief of the Clinical Trials Branch of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications at the National Eye Institute. "The main ACCORD findings showed that fibrate treatment added to statin therapy is safe for patients like those involved in the study. However, intensive blood sugar control to near normal glucose levels increased the risk of death and severe low blood sugar, so patients and their doctors must take these potential risks into account when implementing a diabetes treatment plan."

 

 

The ACCORD study was a landmark clinical trial that included 10,251 adults with Type 2 diabetes who were at especially high risk for heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death. The study evaluated three intensive strategies, compared with standard treatments for lowering cardiovascular risks associated with diabetes.

 

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