Daily ReCAP March 21, 2017


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

Chronic: Rising Temperatures Linked to Increase in Diabetes Cases, Study Suggests

Global warming could result in a significant increase in diabetes cases per year, a new study suggests. The authors sought to determine whether there was a link between rising temperatures and diabetes, with a primary focus on brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity, which activates when temperatures are low and the body needs heat, according to theLos Angeles Times. In a 2015 study that included 8 adults with type 2 diabetes, investigators found that after patients spent 10 days in moderately cold weather, their metabolisms improved and they became more sensitive to insulin. Furthermore, a 2015 study found a correlation between outside temperature and the measure of HbA1C, indicating that when the temperature was higher, so were blood sugar levels. In the current study, investigators obtained data from the CDC on the prevalence of diabetes in all 50 states between 1996 and 2013. The average temperature from each state for each year was collected from the National Centers for Environmental information. The results of the study showed that the higher the average temperature, the higher the age-adjusted incidence of diabetes. Overall, as the average temperature rose by 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), the number of diabetes cases rose by 3.1 per 10,000 individuals. Furthermore, each 1-degree Celsius temperature increase was associated with a 0.173% increase in obesity prevalence. “Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that a decrease in BAT activity with the increasing environmental temperature may deteriorate glucose metabolism and increase the incidence of diabetes,” the authors wrote, as quoted by theLA Times.

Acute: Your Vodka-Red Bull Cocktail Heightens Risk of Injury

Mixing alcohol with energy drinks can increase risk of injury compared to drinking regular mixed cocktails, a new study found. For the study, the investigators analyzed 13 peer-review journal articles regarding alcohol and energy drinks published from 1981 to 2016. Of the 13 studies, 10 showed evidence of a link between use the alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) and an increased risk of injury compared to drinking with only alcohol. Injuries were classified as unintentional and intentional. “The stimulant effects of caffeine mask the result that most people get when they drink alcohol,” said lead author Audra Roemer, MSc. “Usually when you’re drinking alcohol, you get tired and go home. Energy drinks mask that, so people may underestimate how intoxicated they are, end up staying out later, consume more alcohol, and engage in risky behavior and more hazardous drinking practices.” The authors noted that more research needs to be done and that the current study is 1 of 3 planned articles they hope to publish on the link between AmED and the risk of injury.

Preventive: Negative Impact of Insulin Resistance on Cognitive Performance

Insulin resistance—–caused in part by physical inactivity and obesity––is linked to faster cognitive decline in executive function and memory, according to a study published in theJournal of Alzheimer’s Disease. For the study, investigators followed group of 500 patients with existing cardiovascular disease for more than 2 decades. Using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) patients baseline insulin resistance was calculated using fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels. Cognitive functions were assessed with a computerized battery of tests that examine executive function, visual spatial processing, memory, and attention. Follow-up assessments were given 15 years after the start of the study, and again 5 years after that. The results of the study showed that patients who place in the top quarter of the HOMA index were at an increased risk of poor cognitive performance and accelerated cognitive decline compared with the patients in the remaining three-quarters of the HOMA index. “These are exciting findings because they may help to identify a group of individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older age,” said co-lead investigator David Tanne. “We know that insulin resistance can be prevented and treated by lifestyle changes and certain insulin-sensitizing drugs. Exercising, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, and watching your weight will help you prevent insulin resistance and, as a result, protect your brain as you get older.”

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