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Residing in walkable area may help prevent diabetes
Date: 2012-09-18 21:21:16

Individuals hoping for negative results on a blood test for insulin deficiency may want to consider moving to a neighborhood that's easier to walk around.

According to an examination of the entire population of Toronto, highly-populated locations with many destinations within a walking distance and roads that make it easy to walk from one place to another can have an impact on individuals' chances of become diabetic. These findings from St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences have been published in Diabetes Care Today.

"Previous studies have looked at how walkable neighborhoods affect health behavior, but this is the first to look at the risk of developing a disease," said lead author Gillian Booth.

More Americans are in dire need of moderate exercise, according to new research released by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. By their estimates, more than half of all Americans will be obese by 2030. Unless obesity levels in the U.S. stop increasing at their current rate, the majority of residents will be at a greater risk of a positive result from a blood test for diabetes.

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Insulin tablets show potential to delay onset of diabetes
Date: 2012-09-19 21:37:01

People hoping to avoid a positive result from blood testing for type 1 diabetes may be able to prevent the onset of the condition with oral insulin tablets, according to a new study from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Unlike type 2 diabetes, the other form of insulin deficiency usually occurs in children and adolescents. Whereas type 2 diabetes develops when cells cannot correctly use insulin, type 1 diabetes involves the body being unable to produce insulin at all. Type 1 diabetics only account for 5 percent of the total number of individuals dealing with insulin problems according to the ADA.

"If a person has two autoantibodies and one of them is against insulin, there is a 50 percent risk that they will develop type 1 diabetes within five years. There are indications that oral insulin may prevent or delay the clinical onset," said Ake Lernmark, quoted by Medical Xpress.

For this study, the ADA surveyed almost 375 individuals at risk for developing type 1 diabetes for almost 10 years. Individuals who remained on oral insulin treatment had a reduced chance of losing their ability to produce insulin, which would have led to an unfavorable result from diabetes blood testing.

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Living in a walking-friendly neighborhood may protect against diabetes
Date: 2012-09-21 14:45:32

Although physical activity has long been thought to reduce individuals' risk of developing diabetes, new Canadian research indicates that simply residing in a community that is conducive to short walks helps prevent positive results from blood tests for insulin deficiency.

"Previous studies have looked at how walkable neighborhoods affect health behavior, but this is the first to look at the risk of developing a disease," said Gillian Booth, a St. Michael's Hospital endocrinologist and researcher. His organization compiled these findings alongside the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

The density of the population, the ease with which people could walk from one street for another, and attractive nearby destinations within a 10 minute walk, were the three factors researchers used to determine the walkability of areas in Toronto. Surveying data from the residents of these communities, the analysts determined that residents of walkable neighborhood had 50 percent less chance of receiving unfavorable information from diabetes blood tests.

A 2009 article from NBC pointed to several studies showing that moderate exercise reduces diabetes risk. In particular, a Nurses' Health Study indicated that breaking a sweat once a week could decrease the chance of women becoming diabetic by 30 percent.

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Obese kids are at risk for big health issues
Date: 2012-09-26 23:05:15

Noting that childhood obesity results in above-average blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and thicker-than-normal heart muscle, a study published in the British Medical Journal suggests kids with weight problems are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop heart disease and screen positive on blood tests for type 2 diabetes.

After examining numerous studies, which included a total of almost 50,000 children between 5 and 15 years old, researchers from the University of Oxford determined that obese youngsters had much higher cholesterol levels and blood pressure than youths of average weight. They also note that fasting insulin levels, which could lead to affirmative diabetes blood tests, were substantially higher in obese children than in those who were only overweight.

"Weight, and especially obesity, has a significant effect on the risk parameters for cardiovascular disease that are present in children from age 5," write the study authors. "This effect could give them a head start on their normal and even overweight classmates for future cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke."

Reports show the U.K. is hardly exempt from the global obesity epidemic. According to British news source The Guardian, 33 percent of British 11-year-olds are considered obese.

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International study looks into gut bacteria in diabetics
Date: 2012-09-28 21:36:14

Chinese and Danish researchers have observed a clear difference between bacteria found in healthy digestive organs and the guts of individuals who screened positive for type 2 diabetes in a blood test. This information can be viewed in the journal Nature.

Analysts at the University of Copenhagen (UC) say they can't tell yet if the irregular gut bacteria is related to the cause of diabetes or if the reserve scenario is true, but they hope their findings will eventually lead to earlier diagnoses and better treatment options for individuals receiving a blood test that indicates insulin deficiency.

"It is important to point out that our discovery demonstrates a correlation," said professor Karsten Kristiansen from the UC Department of Biology. "The big question now is whether the changes in gut bacteria can affect the development of type 2 diabetes or whether the changes simply reflect that the person is suffering from type 2 diabetes."

High amounts of gut bacteria - microbes that live in the human digestive system, were also shown to enhance fat absorption in a study appearing earlier this month in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

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