Diabetes Newsletter
February 6, 2017
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
                                                            -- Viktor Frankl
In this Issue
• Is There a Link Between Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer?
• Diabetes Risk May Be Higher for HIV-Positive Adults
• Health Tip: Avoid Added Sugars

Is There a Link Between Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer?

Type 2 diabetes onset or worsening may be early sign of deadly, hard-to-detect cancer, study suggests

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Developing or worsening type 2 diabetes could be an early sign of pancreatic cancer, new research suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly a million patients with type 2 diabetes or pancreatic cancer in Italy and Belgium. Half of all pancreatic cancer cases were diagnosed within a year of patients being diagnosed with diabetes, the findings showed.

The investigators also found that type 2 diabetes patients whose condition deteriorated rapidly requiring more aggressive treatment were also at increased risk for pancreatic cancer.

The study findings, which don't prove an association between type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer, were presented Monday at the European Cancer Congress (ECC) in Amsterdam. Research presented at medical meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"Doctors and their diabetic patients should be aware that the onset of diabetes or rapidly deteriorating diabetes could be the first sign of hidden pancreatic cancer, and steps should be taken to investigate it," study author Alice Koechlin said in an ECC news release. Koechlin is a research officer at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France.

"There is currently no good, non-invasive method for detecting pancreatic cancer that is not yet showing any visible signs or symptoms," she said.

"We hope that our results will encourage the search for blood markers indicating the presence of pancreatic cancer, which could guide decisions to perform a confirmation examination like endoscopy," Koechlin added.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers because it's hard to detect at an early stage and there are few effective treatments, the researchers explained.

Less than 1 percent of pancreatic cancer patients live 10 years after diagnosis, the study authors noted in the news release. In 2012, about 338,000 cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed worldwide, and 330,000 died of the disease.

According to ECC Chairman Dr. Peter Naredi: "Due to the severity of pancreatic cancer and because only a minority of cases are detected at a curable stage, we must find better ways for early detection."

Naredi is chairman of the surgery department at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He was not involved in the study.

"Some advances have been made in the search for blood biomarkers," he said in the news release. The new study finding opens up the possibility of combining diagnosis of "an associated disease, type 2 diabetes, with blood biomarkers. It is a step in the right direction if we can increase the proportion of early diagnosed pancreatic cancers."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on pancreatic cancer.

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Diabetes Risk May Be Higher for HIV-Positive Adults

Longer survival with the virus might make people more vulnerable to chronic conditions, researchers suggest

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People infected with the virus that causes AIDS may be more likely to develop diabetes, new research suggests.

In the study, the prevalence of diabetes was almost 4 percent higher among HIV-positive adults than the general population.

Researchers examined survey responses of 8,610 HIV-positive participants in the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP). They also analyzed data from about 5,600 people in the general public who took the annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Of the MMP participants, 75 percent were men and nearly 60 percent were aged 45 or older. About 25 percent were obese; about 20 percent also had hepatitis C (HCV); and 90 percent had received antiretroviral therapy within the past year.

Of NHANES participants, about half were men aged 45 years and older; 36 percent were obese; and fewer than 2 percent had hepatitis C.

The study found that 10 percent of MMP participants had diabetes. Of these people, nearly 4 percent had type 1 diabetes, about half had type 2, and 44 percent had an unspecified type of diabetes. In comparison, slightly more than 8 percent of the general population had diabetes.

Diabetes among the HIV-positive adults increased with age, obesity and longer HIV-positive status.

These findings don't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. But the researchers noted that better treatment has enabled people to live longer with HIV, which may increase their risk for other chronic health issues, such as diabetes.

The study was published online Jan. 30 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

"Although obesity is a risk factor for prevalent [diabetes] among HIV-infected adults, when compared with the general U.S. adult population, [these] adults may have higher [diabetes mellitus] prevalence at younger ages, and in the absence of obesity," lead author Dr. Alfonso Hernandez-Romieu and colleagues wrote in a journal news release.

Hernandez-Romieu is affiliated with the department of epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.

He said more research would be needed to determine whether diabetes screening guidelines should include HIV infection as a risk factor.

More information

The U.S. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides more information on risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

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Health Tip: Avoid Added Sugars

Here's how

(HealthDay News) -- Sugar is added to so many foods that a person could blow through the recommended daily level well before the end of the day.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests cutting back on added sugars by:

  • Learning the many label names that indicate added sugar, such as corn syrup, dextrose, corn sweetener or cane crystals.
  • Watching for potential "hidden" sources of added sugar, such as granola, whole-grain cereal, oatmeal, dried fruit, canned fruit and ketchup.
  • Sticking to just milk or water for a beverage.
  • Opting for plain yogurt over flavored yogurt, which could contain added sugar.

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