The latest news on chronic, acute, and preventive care across the health care landscape.Â
Chronic: Low-Carb Diet Can Help Lower Blood Glucose Levels in Patients with Diabetes
A systemic review found that individuals with diabetes who switched to a lower carbohydrate diet (up to 120 g per day) experienced a reduction in hemoglobin levels, with the greatest reduction of 2.2% observed in patients consuming less than 30 g per day. Participants who followed a reduced carbohydrate diet reported a significant decrease in body weight. Over a 2-year period, the median amount of weight lost was 10.4 lbs compared with 6.4 lbs of individuals who consumed a low-fat diet. Furthermore, investigators found an association between a low carbohydrate diet and a decrease in psychological stress associated with diabetes management, as well as a reduction in negative moods between meals. “It’s important to consider which food groups should be used to replace carbohydrates when altering diet,” said co-author Sarah Illingworth. “Previous research has shown that diets high in fat, particularly saturated fat, carry risks for people with type 2 diabetes. Clinical guidelines should be reviewed to consider including low carbohydrate diets as a diabetes management strategy but this does not mean that it will suitable, or beneficial, for everyone.”
Acute: Proton Pump Inhibitors May Reduce Acute Respiratory Infections in Patients with GERD
Using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to treat patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may help reduce health care visits for acute respiratory infections (ARIs), a new study inPLOS Onesuggests. Investigators sought to determine whether treatment with PPIs had an impact on subsequent health care utilization for ARIs. The 1-year study comprised 21,486 patients with GERD and 21,486 counterparts without GERD. The results of the study showed that the mean annual ARI episode dropped significantly by 11.4% in patients with GERD, from 4.39 during the year before PPI treatment to 3.89 after PPI treatment. The Poisson regression analysis showed that GERD treatment was linked to a significant reduction in the annual ARI rate. Although the findings show promise, investigators said further studies need to be done to confirm the findings.
Prevention: Test May Predict Subclinical Cardiovascular Heart Disease Risk
A genetic blood test could predict individuals with subclinical coronary heart disease (CHD) risk and who could benefit most from statin therapy. In a 3-part study published inCirculation, investigators found that among men with hypercholesterolemia who received statins for primary CHD prevention, the risk of a CHD event was reduced by 44% in patients with a high genetic risk score and only 24% in other patients. In 2 other observational trials, investigators found that patients with a high genetic risk score had a greater coronary artery calcification and a higher carotid plaque burden. “What this [study] provides evidence for is a genetic blood test that identifies people with such elevated risk who can potentially benefit more from statin therapy,” lead investigator Dr Pradeep Natarajan toldHeartwire. “I think the next step is to actually test this in a prospective, randomized clinical trial.”