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Archive - 05 - 2008

The Traditional Mediterranean Diet Protects Against Diabetes

Posted by dlife on Thu, May 29, 08, 10:49 AM 0 Comment

May 29, 2008 (EurekAlert) - The traditional Mediterranean diet provides substantial protection against type 2 diabetes, according to a study published on bmj.com today.The Mediterreanean diet is rich in olive oil, grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and fish, but low in meat, dairy products and alcohol.Current evidence suggests that such a diet has a protective role in cardiovascular disease, but little is known about its role on the risk of developing diabetes in healthy populations.The SUN prospective cohort study involved over 13 000 graduates from the University of Navarra in Spain with no history of diabetes, who were recruited between December 1999 and November 2007, and whose dietary habits and health were subsequently tracked.Participants initially completed a 136 item food frequency questionnaire designed to measure the entire diet. The questionnaire also included questions on the use of fats and oils, cooking methods and dietary supplements.Every two years participants were sent follow-up questionnaires on diet, lifestyle, risk factors, and medical conditions. New cases of diabetes were confirmed through medical reports.During the follow-up period (median 4.4 years) the researchers from the University of Navarra found that participants who stuck closely to the diet had a lower risk of diabetes. A high adherence to the diet was associated with an 83% relative reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.Interestingly, those participants who stuck strictly to the diet also had the highest prevalence of risk factors for diabetes such as older age, a family history of diabetes, and a higher proportion of ex-smokers. This group of participants was therefore expected to have a higher incidence of diabetes, but this was not the case. If fact, say the authors, they had a lower risk of diabetes, suggesting that the diet might provide substantial protection.The major protective characteristics of the diet include a high intake of fibre and vegetable fat, a low intake of trans fatty acids, and a moderate intake of alcohol. In addition, a key element of the diet is the abundant use of virgin oil for cooking, frying, spreading on bread, and dressing salads.The authors conclude by calling for larger cohorts and trials to confirm their findings.

Diabetes Doubles Liver Cancer Risk for Patients With Advanced Hepatitis C

Posted by dlife on Thu, May 29, 08, 10:48 AM 0 Comment

May 29, 2008 (EurekAlert) - Patients who have chronic hepatitis C with advanced fibrosis have twice the risk of developing liver cancer if they also have diabetes. These findings are published in the June issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).Recent studies have suggested that diabetes increases ones risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), also known as liver cancer, possibly because diabetes often occurs as part of the metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis C also increases the risk of liver cancer, so patients who have both diabetes and hepatitis C have two pathways through which HCC might develop.Researchers led by Bart Veldt and Harry Janssen of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in the Netherlands, aimed to quantify the liver cancer risk of patients who have both diabetes mellitus and advanced hepatitis C. They used data from five large hepatology units in Europe and Canada and included 541 consecutive patients between 1990 and 2003 who had chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis as shown by liver biopsy. For each patient, they gathered demographic, clinical, biochemical and virological data, along with fibrosis assessment and details of hepatitis C treatment.Eighty-five of the 541 patients included in the study had diabetes. Patients with more severe fibrosis were more likely to be diabetic. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was 10.5 percent for patients with Ishak fibrosis score 4, 12.5 percent for Ishak-score 5 and 19.1 percent for Ishak-score 6, the authors report.During the median follow-up time of four years, 11 patients (13 percent) with diabetes vs. 27 patients (5.9 percent) without diabetes developed hepatocellular carcinoma. The 5-year occurrence was 11.4 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively. Male gender and older age were significantly associated with elevated HCC risk. In addition, there was a strong trend towards a higher incidence of HCC among patients with diabetes mellitus, the authors report. Multivariate Cox regression analysis of patients with Ishak 6 cirrhosis showed that diabetes was independently associated with the development of HCC.Interestingly, among patients with diabetes, there was a trend towards higher risk of HCC as fasting glucose levels increased. The authors hypothesize that resulting hyperinsulinemia might help explain the increased risk of HCC among diabetic patients.Whatever the mechanism, the risk is clear. For patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus increases the risk of developing HCC, the authors conclude.

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