Daily ReCAP April 18, 2017

April 18th 2017

The latest news on chronic, acute, and preventive care across the health care landscape.

Chronic: Fast-Acting Insulin Aspart Improves Glycemic Control in Type 1 Diabetes

A study published inDiabetes Care, found that fast-acting insulin aspart improved glycemic control in type 1 diabetes. For the study, the investigators examined the safety and efficacy of fast-acting insulin aspart (faster aspart) versus conventional insulin aspart (IAsp). Included in the multicenter phase 3 trial were adults with type 1 diabetes who were randomized to either double-blind mealtime faster aspart or open-label postmeal faster aspart. In both treatment groups, the results of the study showed that hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was reduced, and noninferiority to IAsp was confirmed for both mealtime and postmeal faster aspart. Additionally, there was a statistically significant reduction in HbA1c for mealtime faster aspart compared with IAsp. The investigators also found that 1 and 2 hours after the meal test, postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) increments were statistically significantly lower with mealtime faster aspart. For the 2-hour PPG increment, superiority to IAsp was confirmed. The overall rate of severe or blood glucose-confirmed hypoglycemic episodes and safety profile between treatments were found to be similar. “Faster aspart effectively improved HbA1c, and noninferiority to IAsp was confirmed, with superior PPG control for mealtime faster aspart versus IAsp,” the authors concluded.

Acute: Zika Virus Associated with Epilepsy in Infants

The link between the Zika virus and birth defects is well known, but CDC experts warn that the virus may also trigger epilepsy in infants. In a study published inJAMA Neurology, investigators found that among 48 babies in Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, 50% reportedly had clinical seizures. The Zika virus can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly. To date, thousands of cases have occurred in South America, most notably in Brazil. Now, other pediatric illnesses and defects linked to Zika are emerging. Besides the 48 babies in the study, the CDC said that 7 of another group of 13 Zika-exposed babies in Brazil were also diagnosed with epilepsy. The CDC noted that the findings suggest the need to examine how and to what extent congenital Zika virus and brain abnormalities are associated with seizures and/or epilepsy. The authors said that increases awareness of the potential link between Zika and epilepsy “will help guide interventions to make sure families receive the right support and treatment.”

Preventive: Middle-Aged Population Hit Hardest This Flu Season

This year’s flu season is winding down and is predicted to end within the next couple of weeks, but we are not out of the woods yet, according to US health officials. Similar to the past few seasons, the H3N2 virus was the most prevalent strain. Although elderly and young children are usually hit the hardest by the stain, this flu season, middle-aged individuals were found to be more affected than children. “We are not down yet, there’s still flu out there, but it is declining,” said Lynnette Brammer, epidemiologist with the CDC. “We had a large wave of influenza H3N2 and then we had a smaller wave of influenza B at the end—–not an uncommon pattern. The hospitalization rates for 50- to 64-year-olds was higher than infants to 4-years-old. We haven’t seen that before in an H3N2 year.” This year’s vaccination was well matched against the strains and had an efficacy of approximately 48%. Brammer cautioned that although the flu season is all but over in the Northern Hemisphere, it is just ramping up in the Southern Hemisphere, and individuals traveling to those areas should get vaccinated.

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