Showing posts with label diabetes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diabetes. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cancer and reduces post-cancer survival

Having diabetes is linked with an increased risk of developing a number of cancers as well as poorer survival following a cancer diagnosis.

The findings, being presented at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany (1-5 October), come from a large observational study comparing over 450,000 people with type 2 diabetes with more than 2 million matched controls over an average of 7 years.

For the most common cancers, individuals with diabetes face a 20% greater risk of developing colorectal cancer and a 5% higher risk of breast cancer compared with their diabetes-free counterparts. People with diabetes already diagnosed with cancer also fare worse, with a 25% and 29% higher chance of dying following a breast and prostate cancer diagnosis (respectively) than their peers without diabetes.

More than 415 million people are living with diabetes worldwide--equivalent to 1 in 11 of the adult population--and this figure is expected to rise to 642 million by 2040. Previous research has suggested a link between type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of cancer. But the relationship between diabetes and cancer remains poorly understood due to limitations of previous studies including: residual confounding, investigation bias, small sample sizes, self-reported information, and reverse causality.

To provide more evidence, Hulda Hrund Bjornsdottir from the Swedish National Diabetes Register (NDR) , Sweden, and colleagues examined the incidence of a number of cancers and post-cancer mortality in 457,473 individuals with type 2 diabetes from the NDR between 1998 and 2014, compared to 2,287,365 gender-, age- and county-matched controls from the general population over an average of 7 years follow up. The researchers adjusted for a range of factors that could have influenced the results including age, sex, education, marital status, and income.

A total of 227,505 people developed cancer over the follow-up period. Diabetes was associated with 11 out of the 12 specific types of cancer investigated in the study.

Diabetes was clearly linked with higher risk of cancers of the liver (people with diabetes were 231% more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer than those without a history of diabetes over the study period), pancreas (119%), uterus (78%), penis (56%), kidney (45%), gallbladder and bile ducts (32%), stomach (21%), and bladder (20%). There was evidence that those with diabetes were at a reduced risk of prostate cancer (18%) compared to their peers without diabetes. The absolute 5-year risk of developing cancer for the cancer sites highlighted in the study ranged from 0.02% for penis cancer to 1.45% for prostate cancer for people with diabetes.

In addition, for individuals with diabetes, mortality was higher for prostate (29% higher), breast (25%), and colon (9%) cancer compared to their diabetes-free counterparts.

The authors emphasise that although the relative risk of cancer is increased after diabetes, the absolute risk increase is low. "Our findings do not suggest that everyone who has diabetes will go on to develop cancer in later life", says, Bjornsdottir, who led the study.

The findings also suggest that cancers of the pancreas and lung are a growing problem in people with type 2 diabetes. Over a 10 year period, diabetics showed a 38% greater increase in new cases of pancreatic cancer, a 30% greater increase in lung cancer incidence, whereas there was a 26% decrease in uterus cancer incidence compared to their peers without diabetes. For the other cancer types highlighted by the authors, incidence remained similar in people with and without diabetes over the study period.

"Diabetes and cancer share certain risk factors that might contribute to these associations including obesity, smoking and diet are examples of likely key factors", says Bjornsdottir. "However, we assessed the relative importance of 14 risk factors collected in routine practice and found that they contributed very little to cancer prediction."

She adds, "With the number of people with type 2 diabetes doubling over the past 30 years our findings underscore the importance of improving diabetes care. Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are important factors in diabetes prevention and furthermore cancer prevention. With diabetes being associated with an increased cancer risk and mortality the importance of a healthy lifestyle is clearer than ever. It's also important for health professionals and the public to be aware of the link between diabetes and cancer." 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Risk factors for liver disease among adults of Mexican descent in the United States and Mexico

World J Gastroenterol. Oct 7, 2018; 24(37): 4281-4290
Published online Oct 7, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i37.4281 

Risk factors for liver disease among adults of Mexican descent in the United States and Mexico
Yvonne N Flores, Zuo-Feng Zhang, Roshan Bastani, Mei Leng, Catherine M Crespi, Paula Ramírez-Palacios, Heather Stevens, Jorge Salmeron 


Core tip: United States (US) Latinos have greater morbidity and mortality from liver disease than non-Hispanic whites, and liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death in Mexico. Known risk factors for chronic liver disease include hepatitis B or C infection, heavy/binge drinking, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. We found that Mexican-Americans in the US have a greater risk of obesity, diabetes and heavy/binge drinking than their counterparts in Mexico. The prevalence of heavy/binge drinking was alarmingly high among Mexican-Americans, with over 70% among males and over 50% among US-born females. Our results identify a high prevalence of specific risk factors that should be targeted to reduce the high rates of liver disease-related mortality in this population.

To compare the prevalence of chronic liver disease (CLD) risk factors in a representative sample of Mexican-Americans born in the United States (US) or Mexico, to a sample of adults in Mexico. 

Data for Mexican-Americans in the US were obtained from the 1999-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which includes persons of Mexican origin living in the US (n = 4274). The NHANES sample was restricted to Mexican-American participants who were 20 years and older, born in the US or Mexico, not pregnant or breastfeeding, and with medical insurance. The data in Mexico were obtained from the 2004-2013 Health Worker Cohort Study in Cuernavaca, Mexico (n = 9485). The following known risk factors for liver disease/cancer were evaluated: elevated aminotransferase levels (elevated alanine aminotransferase was defined as > 40 IU/L for males and females; elevated aspartate aminotransferase was defined as > 40 IU/L for males and females), infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C, metabolic syndrome, high total cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, abdominal obesity, and heavy alcohol use. The main independent variables for this study classified individuals by country of residence (i.e., Mexico vs the US) and place of birth (i.e., US-born vs Mexico-born). Regression analyses were used to investigate CLD risk factors. 

After adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics, Mexican-American males were more likely to be obese, diabetic, heavy/binge drinkers or have abdominal obesity than males in Mexico. The adjusted multivariate results for females also indicate that Mexican-American females were significantly more likely to be obese, diabetic, be heavy/binge drinkers or have abdominal obesity than Mexican females. The prevalence ratios and prevalence differences mirror the multivariate analysis findings for the aforementioned risk factors, showing a greater risk among US-born as compared to Mexico-born Mexican-Americans. 

In this study, Mexican-Americans in the US had more risk factors for CLD than their counterparts in Mexico. These findings can be used to design and implement more effective health promotion policies and programs to address the specific factors that put Mexicans at higher risk of developing CLD in both countries.

Full-text article available online:

Monday, September 10, 2018

HCV Newsletters & Updates: Obesity in liver disease, Nasal spray for opioid overdose and Fast-acting flu drug

HCV Newsletters & Updates
Welcome, check out the latest news, review this months collection of newsletters, and finish off by reading a handful of well written blogs focused on living well with hep B or C.

In The News
MSF and groups call for end to Gilead’s hepatitis C drug monopoly in Europe which blocks access 
--Pharmaceutical company Gilead has a patent monopoly on hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir in Europe
--The patent results in exorbitant prices, meaning people are unable to afford treatment
--MSF and other organisations are urging the European Patent Office to overturn the patent in a hearing this week.

With an award-winning newsroom, STAT gives you indispensable insights and exclusive stories on the technologies, personalities, power brokers, and political forces driving massive changes in the life science industry — and a revolution in human health.
Fast-acting flu drug shows strong potential - An experimental, fast-acting flu drug showed strong promise in two newly published trials — but it also led to some surprising and even concerning results. The drug cut the time people were sick with flu symptoms by just over a day, but didn’t make people feel better faster than Tamiflu.

California-based Opiant earlier this year was awarded a $7.4 million grant by the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse for the development of a nasally-applied version of overdose treatment nalmefene.

Associated Press 
Doctors explore lifting barriers to living organ donation
WASHINGTON — Surgeons turned down Terra Goudge for the liver transplant that was her only shot at surviving a rare cancer. Her tumor was too advanced, they said — even though Goudge had a friend ready to donate, no matter those odds.

HepCBC is a Canadian non-profit organization offering awareness with basic information about HCV and a weekly digest of news.
Read the latest issue of the highly successful Weekly Bull.

September Updates
Hepatology - Top Story From Healio 
Healio features the industry’s best news reporting, dynamic multimedia, question-and-answer columns, educational activities in a variety of formats, blogs, and peer-reviewed journals.

HCV NEXT September/October Issue - The following articles appeared in this months issue of HCV NEXT, published online over at Healio

September 7, 2018
Physicians and researchers have noted the increase in liver disease over the last couple decades, especially nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, correlates significantly…

NATAP is a New York State non-profit corporation with 501(c)3 Federal tax-exempt status. Our mission is to educate individuals about HIV and Hepatitis treatments and to advocate on the behalf of all people living with HIV/AIDS and HCV. Our efforts in these areas are conducted on local, national, and international levels.
Global Hepatitis Summit A Few Selected Highlights 
Reported by Jules Levin, NATAP
In June the Global Hepatitis Summit took place in Toronto. Here are 3 selected talks highlighted of particular interest to me. The first talk by Andrew Hill he says we have a bleak scenario regarding the possibility of global HCV elimination. He says in many countries new HCV infections outstrip HCV cures and new diagnoses. New diagnoses are much lower in all poorer countries compared to high income countries. Screening is too low, all of which he uses to say the outlook is bleak for global HCV elimination unless we make changes.

The 2nd talk I chose to highlight was by Maria Prims from the Netherlands where she reports high HCV infection & reinfection rates among people taking PrEP to prevent HIV infection. She highlights an increasing HCV incidence among MSM. 376 started PrEP either daily or on demand and there were 12 HCV infections: 6 new infections & 6 reinfections.

The 3rd report below is on the use of a new broader type of model in India for HCV screening & care. A more comprehensive clinic model where IDUs can under 1 roof get a variety of services for IDU and HCV care. Sunil Solomon highlights how big & diverse the HCV epidemic is India, much bigger even only among IDUs compared to the entire HCV epidemic in Western Europe. 
Read it here...…

In Case You Missed It
'A long life with HIV' is now available to read online. The booklet provides information on living well with HIV as you get older, including things you can do to look after your health, health issues and preparing for the future.

Sept 4, 2018
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:INO) and its partner, GeneOne Life Science (KSE:011000), said today that the companies have dosed the first patient in a Phase I study designed to test a preventive vaccine against hepatitis C infection. The companies plan to recruit 24 study participants to evaluate Inovio’s GLS-6150 candidate. Participants will include people who have a sustained virologic response following treatment for Hep. C, as well as healthy controls. They are slated to receive one of two doses of vaccine, administered intra-dermally and followed by electroporation with Inovio’s Cellectra device.

Risk of Liver Cancer in Patients with NAFLD 
(Reuters Health) - People with advanced cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may need to be monitored for liver cancer, a large U.S. study suggests.

Vosevi Beats Hepatitis C Regardless of Drug Resistance 
In a recent study of people whose previous hep C regimen failed to cure their infection, Vosevi cured almost all of them.

Will an opt-out organ transplant law save lives?
The recent decision in England to change the organ donation law from voluntary consent (opt-in) to presumed consent (opt-out) highlighted the debate around the best approach to organ donation.

Routine oral care to treat gum disease may improve cognitive function in cirrhosis patients
Routine oral care to treat gum disease may play a role in reducing inflammation and toxins in the blood and improving cognitive function in people with liver cirrhosis.

In The Journals 
Hepatitis B Virus and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Journal of Viral Hepatitis

Chronic Hepatitis C Association with Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Risk in the Era of DAA Therapy.
Most likely, DAA treatment and subsequently SVR achievement decrease cardiovascular risk. This fact is another reason for early treatment of patients, including those with a lower grade of liver fibrosis. Yet, chronic hepatitis C treatment remains inaccessible not only in developing countries but also in countries with high quality of life..

HCV Advocate
The HCV Advocate newsletter is a valuable resource designed to provide the hepatitis C community with monthly updates on events, clinical research, and education.
In this month’s HCV Advocate newsletter, the following noteworthy articles are available to read and educate:
-SnapShots by Alan Franciscus Risk factors, mortality, and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes—A. Rawshani, et. al.
-Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma after direct antiviral therapy for HCV in patients with cirrhosis included in surveillance programs—P. Nahom, et. al.
-Safety and efficacy of ledipasvir‐sofosbuvir with or without ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C in children ages 6‐11—K. F. Murry, et. al
-Commentary: A review of the risk of hepatitis B and C transmission through biting or spitting—H. Pintilie, et. al.
-Hepatitis C virus infection in children in the era of direct-acting antivirals—M. Pawlowska, et. al
HealthWise – A Buffet of Health Information – as the title of the article implies, Lucinda discusses the various substances that may or may not be good for your health.
Hepatitis Headlines – Three interesting news stories about hepatitis C that our readers will find interesting including heart transplants, eliminating hepatitis in the U.S. and WHO and HCV treatment guidelines.
Hep C 101 – Overview of Hepatitis C by Alan Franciscus – A new series of article for people who are new to hepatitis C or for those people who want basic information.
What’s Up – We’ve updated several of the HCV Advocate Factsheets. Use the links provided in this section to get current information on several subjects that relate to Hep C, including nutrition, alcohol, co-infection, and motherhood.
Watch our patient video about treating and curing HCV. 

The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force
The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force is a city-wide network of service providers and advocates concerned with hepatitis C and related issues. The groups come together to learn, share information and resources, network, and identify hepatitis C related needs in the community. Committees form to work on projects in order to meet needs identified by the community.
Review all news updates.

HCV Action
HCV Action brings together hepatitis C health professionals from across the patient pathway with the pharmaceutical industry and patient representatives to share expertise and good practice.
HCV Action e-update

World Hepatitis Alliance
We run global campaigns, convene high-level policy events, build capacity and pioneer global movements, ensuring people living with viral hepatitis guide every aspect of our work.
View Recent Newsletters 
World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) presents hepVoice, a monthly magazine with updates on the latest projects, news from WHA members and key developments in the field of hepatitis.

GI & Hepatology News
Over 17,000 gastroenterologists and hepatologists rely on GI & Hepatology News every month to cover the world of medicine with breaking news, on-site medical meeting coverage, and expert perspectives both in print and online. 
Hot topics
Amy Karon MDedge News 
Modest alcohol consumption was associated with significantly less improvement in steatosis and significantly lower odds of NASH resolution.
View all updates here....

Hep-Your Guide to Hepatitis
Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis. Offering unparalleled editorial excellence since 2010, Hep and are the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.
View - all issues
Read the news

Hepatitis Victoria
Hepatitis Victoria is the peak not-for-profit community organisation working across the state for people affected by or at risk of viral hepatitis.
Latest Podcast: Karen Hoyt a HEP Hero and she is unique in being our first international recipient!
Speaking from Oklahoma in the United States, Karen talks about her diagnosis with hepatitis C and how she experienced the full gamut of conditions leading to a liver transplant.

View the Latest Newsletter, or relax and listen to a short podcasts interviewing health experts and practioners on topics related to viral hepatitis - come have a listen!

British Liver Trust
The British Liver Trust is the leading UK liver disease charity for adults – we provide information and support; increase awareness of how liver disease can be prevented and promote early diagnosis; fund and champion research and campaign for better services. 
News: Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce calls for government to double the survival rate of deadliest cancers by 2029
The combined five-year survival rate for people with either liver, brain, lung, oesophageal, pancreatic or stomach cancers stands is currently just 14%. Today, six charities …
View Recent Newsletters, here.

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) is national coalition working together to eliminate hepatitis B and C in the United States.
View all NVHR newsletters

The Hepatitis C Trust
The Hepatitis C Trust is run by patients with the goal of eliminating HCV in the United Kingdom. The Trust’s mission is to reverse the rapidly increasing death toll caused by hepatitis C in the UK until no-one dies from this preventable and treatable disease and, ultimately, it is all but eradicated in this country.

National Institutes of Health
A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
September Newsletter
Body Odor May Be Sign of Disease
Breathe Easier
Dealing with Bad Air Quality

Harvard Health
Lipoprotein(a) is a fatty particle in the blood that invades artery walls, causing atherosclerosis. Also known as Lp(a), the particles are similar to “bad” LDL cholesterol molecules but with an extra protein attached. High blood levels of Lp(a)—which is largely determined by genetics—may explain some unexpected, premature heart attacks. Widespread testing for Lp(a) is not recommended because both the prevalence and the definition of what constitutes a dangerously high level are not yet clear. In addition, there are no FDA-approved treatments proved to lower heart disease risk in people with high Lp(a) levels.

Inspirational Bloggers
Karen Hoyt is devoted to offering support and accurate information to people coping with the effects of hepatitis C.
I hear a lot from people seeking help for autoimmune liver disease. Trying to figure it out is hard, but most symptoms are the same as any type of liver disease. I know, we can’t lump them all into one specific area, but they are in the same region.

Lucinda K. Porter
Lucinda Porter is a nurse, speaker, advocate and patient devoted to increasing awareness about hepatitis C.
Latest blog entry: Happiness: Purging Self-Help Advice

Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis.
Latest blog entry: By Connie M. Welch
Patient Experience Living With Cirrhosis With John M., Part 2 Part 2 of Connie Welch’s interview with John M, a patient with hepatitis C and cirrhosis, who was successfully treated with Harvoni.

By Greg Jefferys -How Big Pharma Corrupts Health Services 
A look at how bribing bureaucrats and buying doctors brings about bad outcomes for public health.
Check out the talented people who blog at Hep.

We provide information, support, referral and advocacy for people affected by viral hepatitis in NSW. We also provide workforce development and education services both to prevent the transmission of viral hepatitis and to improve services for those affected by it.
Latest blog entry: Pharmacists key in harm reduction

Life Beyond Hepatitis C
Life Beyond Hep C is where faith, medical resources and patient support meet, helping Hep C patients and their families navigate through the entire journey of Hep C.
Latest blog entry: Relief from Itching with Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis

Canadian Liver Foundation 
We strive to improve prevention and the quality of life of those living with liver disease by advocating for better screening, access to treatment, and patient care.
Latest blog entry: Who Gives a Sliver of a Liver to a Stranger?

Hepatitis B Foundation 
The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide.
Latest blog entry: - Be Your Own Advocate in the Medical Room
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be transmitted two ways: 1) through direct contact with blood and 2) infected body fluids. Some risks for direct blood contact are obvious, such as touching an open wound to another open wound or cleaning up someone’s blood without any protective gear. However, other methods of blood transmission are harder to catch. Common activities like sharing razors, earrings, or toothbrushes are simple, innocent actions, yet they all have the potential for blood exchange.
At we empower patients and caregivers to take control of Hepatitis C by providing a platform to learn, educate, and connect with peers and healthcare professionals.
Latest blog entry: Ask the Advocate: What Were Your First Symptoms of Hep C?
There are several common symptoms of chronic HCV, including fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, low-grade fever, decreased appetite..

HIV and ID Observations 
An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, all matters medical, and some not so medical.
Latest blog entry: Doravirine Sets a New Standard for NNRTIs — But What Role in HIV Treatment Today?

Kevin Pho is a practicing physician and most known for his blog KevinMD. Thousands of authors contribute to his blog: primary care doctors, surgeons, specialist physicians, nurses, medical students, policy experts. And of course, patients, who need the medical profession to hear their voices.
One of the aspects of depression that’s particularly difficult is the sleep disturbance which accompanies it and often continues after the traditional symptoms of depression have finally gotten better.

On The Radio
Presented by Dr Norman Swan
Genetic test predicts dementia risk. Warning over new genetic tests on Medicare Benefits Schedule. Colonoscopy standards to reduce unnecessary treatment, risk of complications. Scan your heart to save your life...

Healthy You
This type of observational study is useful for comparing what happens to groups of people in different situations (in this case, people over 75 who have or haven't been prescribed statins), but it can't show cause and effect. So in this case, it can't show whether living longer or having strokes or heart attacks are a direct effect of taking or not taking statins...

Osteoporosis is often called "soft bones." "Osteoporosis is thinning of the bone to the point where the bones can break," says Dr. Bart Clarke, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist. Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script. Dr. Clark says common breaks from thinning bones occur in the spine, wrist, shoulder and hip. "Women, in general, past menopause — past the mid-50s — are at high risk for this because of the…

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How response to HCV treatment impacts the incidence of type 2 diabetes

Impact of Sustained Virologic Response on Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Among Hepatitis C Patients in the United States 
J. Li; T. Zhang; S. C. Gordon; L. B. Rupp; S. Trudeau; S. D. Holmberg; A. C. Moorman; P. R. Spradling; E. H. Teshale; J. A. Boscarino; M. A. Schmidt; Y. G. Daida; M. Lu

J Viral Hepat. 2018 Aug;25(8):952-958. 

Data regarding the impact of hepatitis C (HCV) therapy on incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus are limited. We used the data from the longitudinal Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study-drawn from four large US health systems-to investigate how response to HCV treatment impacts the risk of subsequent diabetes. Among HCV patients without a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus or hepatitis B, we investigated the incidence of type 2 diabetes from 12 weeks post-HCV treatment through December 2015. Cox proportional hazards models were used to test the effect of treatment status (sustained virologic response [SVR] or treatment failure) and baseline risk factors on the development of diabetes, considering any possible risk factor-by-SVR interactions, and death as a competing risk. Among 5127 patients with an average follow-up of 3.7 years, diabetes incidence was significantly lower among patients who achieved SVR (231/3748; 6.2%) than among patients with treatment failure (299/1379; 21.7%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.65-0.96). Risk of diabetes was higher among African American and Asian American patients than White patients (aHR = 1.82 and 1.75, respectively; P < .05), and among Hispanic patients than non-Hispanics (aHR = 1.86). Patients with BMI ≥ 30 and 25-30 (demonstrated higher risk of diabetes aHR = 3.62 and 1.72, respectively; P < .05) than those with BMI < 25; patients with cirrhosis at baseline had higher risk than those without cirrhosis (aHR = 1.47). Among a large US cohort of patients treated for HCV, patients who achieved SVR demonstrated a substantially lower risk for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus than patients with treatment failure.

Discussion Only 
Full text available online @ Medscape 
In a large US cohort of patients treated for HCV, we found that the achievement of SVR independently reduced the risk of T2D. There were no SVR-by-covariate interactions detected, meaning the SVR effect was consistent across patient demographic characteristics and clinical conditions at the time of treatment, including serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels.

We observed an independent effect of HCV-related cirrhosis on increasing T2D incidence after adjusting for other covariates as well as SVR status. This effect has been reported previously; univariate analyses in a smaller European study (n = 365) showed that increasing fibrosis score was a risk factor for the development of T2D.[2] We did not observe a significant effect of ALT in either univariate or multivariate analyses. It is possible, however, that the lack of a significant finding was a consequence of a relatively large proportion (20%) of missing ALT data and/or the strong correlation between ALT and cirrhosis, which may have diminished the observed effect of ALT.

Race has been previously identified as a factor associated with increased the risk of T2D in the general US population and among patients with HCV in Europe.[9,10] Our results are consistent with these findings, although the effects we observed were larger than those reported in other studies; the risk of T2D was 92% higher among African American patients and 75% higher among ASINPI patients compared with Whites, after adjusting for BMI and other covariates.

Some studies have suggested that sex and HCV genotype are associated with the risk of T2D, but these results have not been consistent.[9] In our study, sex was a significant risk factor in univariate analysis, but was not significant after adjusting for other covariates. HCV genotype was not significantly associated with T2D incidence in either univariate or multivariate analyses.

Our study has some limitations. Data available to calculate baseline BMI and to impute FIB4 score were incomplete, given our reliance on electronically collected observational data as well as the inclusion of some patients treated beginning in the early 1990s. Additionally, our study was largely limited to the interferon era of HCV treatment. However, the CHeCS "dynamic" sampling design, which adds new patients to the cohort at regular intervals while continuing to follow the existing patients, has allowed us to begin the preliminary analyses of the impact of DAA regimens on the incidence of T2D.

Debate remains regarding whether and how HCV infection might increase the risk of T2D.[11,12] Although some studies have found that T2D occurs more frequently among subsets of HCV-infected versus uninfected individuals,[13–15] other studies suggest that observed increases in the risk of T2D may be a consequence of HCV-related elevation in ALT,[16,17] perhaps further confounded by high BMI and/or cirrhosis.[18] We found that cirrhosis, but not baseline ALT, independently increased the risk of T2D in all treatment groups. Although we observed that successful HCV treatment reduced the risk of future diabetes, our analysis could not evaluate whether this risk reduction resulted from viral eradication, from subsequent reductions in inflammation or fibrosis, or through some other mechanism. Future analyses may help elucidate these mechanisms.

Additionally, although we observed that the absence of successful antiviral therapy increases HCV patients' risk of T2D, a number of studies have suggested that T2D and insulin resistance reduce response to antiviral therapy, particularly interferon-based treatments.[19–22] This two-way association illustrates the complex relationship between T2D, HCV and SVR, and may have introduced bias into the observed effect of SVR on the risk of T2D. We excluded patients previously diagnosed with T2D from our analysis, but due to the observational nature of our study, comprehensive identification of each patient with potentially elevated glucose and insulin resistance was not feasible. To address this issue, we performed a sensitivity analysis of patients with available glucose assessments, excluding those with fasting or random glucose levels greater than 110 mg/dl. Exclusion of these patients produced results similar to our main analysis.

Another limitation is that our assessment of the association between independent baseline covariates and the risk of T2D incidence was restricted to treated patients. Given the absence of variable-by-SVR interactions and the increasing uptake of DAA treatment in the HCV patient population, we expect that our observations regarding the impact of race and cirrhosis on the development of T2D may be generalizable to a broader population of patients with HCV.

In conclusion, among a geographically and racially diverse cohort of more than 5000 patients from US healthcare systems, successful HCV treatment was associated with significant reductions in the incidence of T2D. African American and ASINPI race as well as the presence of cirrhosis appear to increase the risk of developing T2D among those without SVR. Therefore, patients with these risk factors should be monitored closely for T2D prevention and care.

Continue reading:
Free registration may be required to view article. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Hepatitis C-Diabetes associated w-advanced fibrosis and progression in HCV non-genotype 3 patients

In case you missed it

Dig Liver Dis. 2018 Jul 17. pii: S1590-8658(18)30814-4. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2018.07.003. 
[Epub ahead of print]

Diabetes is associated with advanced fibrosis and fibrosis progression in non-genotype 3 chronic hepatitis C patients.

Researchers investigated if diabetes is associated with progression from the non-cirrhotic liver to cirrhosis in non-genotype 3 chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients. In the study 976 non-genotype 3 patients with HCV were studied, out of the 976 participants, 684 did not have cirrhosis. According to ultrasound findings, 60 patients developed cirrhosis during the follow-up period. In non-genotype 3 CHC patients, diabetes was correlated with progression from the non-cirrhotic liver to cirrhosis.

Diabetes is a risk factor of fibrosis progression in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). However, only one longitudinal study exploring whether diabetes is associated with progression from non-cirrhotic liver to cirrhosis in CHC patients has been conducted.

We investigated whether diabetes is associated with progression from non-cirrhotic liver to cirrhosis in non-genotype 3 CHC patients.

A cohort consisting of 976 non-genotype 3 patients histologically proven to have CHC was studied. After excluding patients with biopsy-proven or ultrasound-identified cirrhosis, there were 684 patients without cirrhosis. All 684 patients underwent hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance using ultrasound every 6 months, with a median duration of follow-up evaluation of 102.4 months. During the follow-up period, 60 patients developed cirrhosis according to ultrasound findings.

For the subgroup of 684 patients without cirrhosis, Kaplan-Meier survival analyses showed no significantly different cumulative incidences of cirrhosis (log-rank test; P = 0.71) among the patients with diabetes as compared to those without. However, after making adjustments for age, gender, fibrosis, steatosis, sustained virological response status, and obesity using Cox's proportional hazard model, diabetes was found to be an independent predictor for cirrhosis (HR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.05-3.43, P = 0.03).

Diabetes is associated with progression from non-cirrhotic liver to cirrhosis in non-genotype 3 CHC patients.

Diabetes; Genotype 3; Hepatitis C virus; Liver cirrhosis; Ultrasound
PMID: 30076015 DOI: 10.1016/j.dld.2018.07.003 
Full text article requires payment 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Protective liquid enables oral insulin delivery in rats

July 17, 2018
Protective liquid enables oral insulin delivery in rats
—by Sharon Reynolds

More than 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes, a disease in which the body has trouble managing and using blood glucose, the sugar that serves as the body’s fuel. Tens of millions more live with prediabetes, a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. When blood sugar isn’t controlled for long periods of time, it can cause a range of health problems, including nerve damage and heart or kidney disease.

People with diabetes must actively monitor and control their blood sugar levels. Many need injections of insulin, a hormone that helps the body process glucose, several times a day to keep their blood sugar levels under control. But it can be difficult and painful to keep up with insulin injections. An oral form of insulin would drastically ease the difficulty of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Insulin runs into many obstacles when taken by mouth. First, acid in the stomach can degrade it. Second, any insulin that reaches the small intestine from the stomach can be chopped up by the enzymes that help break down food. Finally, insulin needs to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the cells that line the small intestine.

A research team led by Dr. Samir Mitragotri of Harvard University has been exploring the uses of an ionic liquid called CAGE. Ionic liquids contain both positively and negatively charged molecules. CAGE is made from two non-toxic compounds, choline and geranate. In previous work, the team showed that CAGE could be used to deliver antibiotics and insulin through the skin of rats.

In their latest study, the team tested whether CAGE could protect insulin from degradation by the digestive system and help it through the intestinal lining. The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 10, 2018.

The researchers first tested whether their insulin-CAGE solution was stable. The structure and function of insulin remained intact in CAGE for 2 months at room temperature and at least 4 months when refrigerated.

When injected directly into the small intestines of non-diabetic rats, the solution quickly lowered blood sugar levels by up to 65%. Insulin-CAGE delivered through the small intestine lasted longer in the bloodstream than insulin injected under the skin.

The researchers next packaged insulin-CAGE into enterically coated capsules. Enteric coatings are resistant to stomach acid but dissolve when they reach the small intestine. When given by mouth to rats, the capsules caused a slow and steady drop in blood sugar, by about half over 10 hours. This drop was smoother and longer lasting than that caused by injection. Samples taken from the intestinal walls after administration showed no damage caused by the insulin-CAGE solution.

“Once ingested, insulin must navigate a challenging obstacle course before it can effectively be absorbed into the bloodstream,” Mitragotri says. “Our approach is like a Swiss Army knife, where one pill has tools for addressing each of the obstacles that are encountered.”

The researchers are now planning studies with diabetic animals to gauge the long-term safety and effectiveness of oral insulin-CAGE. They hope to eventually test the approach in a human clinical trial.

References: Ionic liquids for oral insulin delivery. Banerjee A, Ibsen K, Brown T, Chen R, Agatemor C, Mitragotri S. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jul 10;115(28):7296-7301. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1722338115. Epub 2018 Jun 25. PMID: 29941553.

Funding: NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); the National Science Foundation; Harvard University; and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blood test may predict who is most at risk for diabetes

Blood test may predict who is most at risk for diabetes 
Lisa Rapaport
(Reuters Health) - Adding a test normally used for diabetes monitoring to employee wellness exams could identify people who don’t have the disease but are at high risk of developing it, a recent study suggests. Researchers examined data from two different types of blood sugar test for more than 34,000 participants in a U.S. employee wellness program who didn’t have diabetes. At the start of the study, they all also had fasting blood sugar in a healthy range.

Diabetes Care, online April 26, 2018
Dov Shiffman, Carmen H. Tong, Charles M. Rowland, James J. Devlin, James B. Meigs and Michael J. McPhaul
Diabetes Care 2018 Apr; dc172500.

Recommended reading
HCV-Infected Patients With Diabetes Improve With Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy: Presented at AACE

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

HCV-Infected Patients With Diabetes Improve With Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy: Presented at AACE

FirstWord Pharma

HCV-Infected Patients With Diabetes Improve With Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy: Presented at AACE
By Michael Bassett
BOSTON -- May 22, 2018 -- Treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients who have diabetes with direct-acting antiviral therapy results in significant and durable improvement in their diabetes, according to study presented here at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 27th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress (AACE)...

Although 66% of the patients had no improvement in diabetes with HCV eradication, 10% of the patients showed improvement but not sustained, and 24% experienced sustained improvement...

Monday, April 23, 2018

HCV, type 2 diabetes & fatty liver disease - Importance of diet and exercise

Importance of diet and exercise 

This Michigander is announcing winter might just be over. I am so done walking on my ugly, hated, overrated treadmill, looking forward to moving my morning routine outside.

If you too are feeling a bit of spring fever, or preparing for a lifestyle change, check out the links provided below and learn about the importance of diet and exercise for people with HCV, type 2 diabetes or fatty liver disease.

On The Radio
To get you started we begin with Dr Norman Swan, the host of Health Report, along with his guest Professor Mike Lean, lead author in a study investigating the impact of weight loss on type 2 diabetes, published in the Lancet 10 February 2018; Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial. The study found after a year, participants who lost weight (around 30 pounds) on a 800 calorie diet, no longer had type 2 diabetes. The diet may be too difficult or not recommended for some people, in the trial patients were followed closely, however, the outcome is amazing. The interview starts at 8:29, listen to the program, here, read the transcript below or visit Health Report.

Norman Swan: There's good news, for once, from the west of Scotland where a trial in general practice of an extremely low calorie diet has reversed type 2 diabetes in a large percentage of participants. Mike Lean is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow and is on the line. Welcome to the Health Report.

Mike Lean: Hello, how are you?

Norman Swan: Fine. You say in the paper that this is the first trial of its kind in type 2 diabetes, which is extraordinary.

Mike Lean: We've known about type 2 diabetes and thought of it as a distinct disease growing enormously in numbers and costing perhaps more than any other single disease for about 100 years, and it has been noted in a number of studies that some people if they lose enough weight will get rid of their diabetes. But no study has previously gone out to actually try and do that, to actually get as many people as possible to become non-diabetic, to get rid of their diabetes completely.

Norman Swan: So what did you do in this study?

Mike Lean: Well, this is not rocket science. What we did was we recruited people in primary care, in general practice, who were overweight, BMI over 27, so not enormously overweight but overweight, with type 2 diabetes. And we ask them to follow a formula diet, not a very low calorie but and 800-odd calorie diet for as long as it took, and it took quite a long time in some cases, to lose enough weight to become non-diabetic. And we aimed to get 15 kg weight loss because we knew from other observations that that was likely to do it. And of course not everybody managed, sadly, a lot of people found it really hard. A lot of people did manage. In the end we got about a quarter of our patients to lose that amount of weight. And those who lost 15 kg, almost 90% were no longer diabetic after a year, they were off all their medication, they were off all their diabetic medication and their antihypertensive medication, and they felt a lot better, their quality of life went up.

The remainder who didn't lose 15 kg, none of them got worse. Of those who lost over 10 kg, over half of them were non-diabetic. So you don't need to lose 15 kg but it's much better if you do. And I think what we've learnt from this is what we've regarded as a distinct disease, type 2 diabetes, is actually all part and parcel of obesity when you think about obesity as a disease process…

Norman Swan: We'll come back to the diet in a minute. And what was the recidivism rate, if you want to call it that, in terms of people gaining weight again and returning to diabetes?

Mike Lean: Yes, so that is of course…we've only published the one-year results and there's a lot more to find out. What we did find out was that the proportion of people with diabetes who wanted to have a go at this was very high. It was probably no great surprise because being diabetic is a penalty and it carries terrible medical risks as well as financial. The number within a year who put on any weight was really quite small, but we know very well from earlier studies that it's hard to maintain…the biggest problem is not losing the weight, it's actually maintaining it long term, and that's where our big research effort needs to go.

Norman Swan: So the diet itself…an 800 calorie diet is not something you try yourself at home because you can go into nutritional deficiency. This was a shakes and bars diet, wasn't it, it was a meal plan diet.

Mike Lean: That's correct, it was a formula diet which made sure it had all the vitamins and minerals, everything that was necessary, provided the patients actually followed this. And they didn't have to pay for it, they were given it for the study. And so they did that, so it was perfectly safe, there was no…

Norman Swan: That's my point, so it's one of these things you can buy in the chemist and it comes in various boxes, but we won't talk about the branding.

Mike Lean: The branding doesn't matter, all these things are pretty much the same. What matters is not what comes in the box or out of the packet, it's the support that is given with it, because people who go and get these type of diets from the chemist or from a supermarket generally do it for two or three or four weeks and then they peel off. If you are going to get rid of your diabetes you've got to stick in for probably 12 weeks if you do it full time. There are plenty of people who do it off and on for 12 weeks and need to carry on doing it off and on for a bit longer to lose their 10 or 15 kg. So there are different routes to getting there, you don't half to lose it all in one go but it works better if you do.

Norman Swan: What about complications, like if you lose weight fast when you are overweight you can get gallbladder disease…

Mike Lean: Ah, you're well informed!

Norman Swan: You can low blood sugar if you're on insulin, or diabetes complications. What sort of complications did people get?

Mike Lean: Well, the first thing was for this particular study we didn't include people who were already on insulin, partly because their likelihood of getting a remission is much lower. It had probably done damage to their pancreas by that stage. And what we did on day one was that we stopped all our anti-diabetes medication, so there's no risk of hypoglycaemia at all, and nobody had hypoglycaemia. And the same thing went for the blood pressure tablets, we stopped all their blood pressure tablets on day one because otherwise if you lose weight there is a risk of possible hypotension, and just to pick up your other point, there was one patient amongst the 150 who started, one who developed abdominal pains and we think that was probably by gallstones. That's a common complication of obesity, very common in people with diabetes anyway, and it can be made worse during weight loss.

Norman Swan: These are similar findings to bariatric surgery.

Mike Lean: Oddly the remission rate was actually a tiny bit better than bariatric surgery if you can lose 15 kg. If you lose 15 kg you will almost certainly get rid of your diabetes, whether or not it's done with surgery. There are of course many fewer hazards doing it without surgery. They produce very similar results, yes.

Norman Swan: Mike, thanks very much for joining us, a fascinating study.

Mike Lean: Thank you very much.

Norman Swan: Mike Lean is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow.

Fatty Liver Disease & Type 2 Diabetes 
"Given the increasing worldwide incidence of obesity and metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease. Recent developments in the field have shown that NAFLD not only is a “liver disease” but also is the underlying cause of an increasing number of extrahepatic manifestations; thus, it should be treated as a multisystem disease. NAFLD is most prominently linked to chronic kidney disease, mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular disease, as well as a number of other severe chronic diseases. These findings demonstrate that NAFLD ranks amongst the most serious public health problems of our time."

Also noted in the article; The prevalence of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), in people who are obese and have type 2 diabetes may be as high as 40%, whereas it is less than 5% in people without type 2 diabetes.
Read the article, here.

Presented at Liver Congress 2018
Alcoholic liver disease replaces hepatitis C infection as leading cause of liver transplantation in patients without hepatocellular carcinoma in the USA
Two independent studies presented at the conference reported; that alcoholic liver disease has now replaced hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as the leading cause of liver transplantation in the USA in patients without HCC. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is also on the increase, now ranking second as a cause of liver transplantation due to chronic liver disease.
Read the article, here.

Hepatitis C & Diabetes
Several studies have demonstrated the risk for development of diabetes is increased in people with chronic hepatitis C infection (HCV), for instance people with HCV have a 2.3 fold increased chance of having type 2 diabetes. According to a 2013 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology Therapeutics; Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is independently associated with presence of metabolic conditions (insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension) and congestive heart failure.

HCV Treatment & Type 2 Diabetes
The good news is with today's high sustained viral response rates using direct antiviral medications to treat HCV, people who successfully reach SVR, or achieve a cure, lower their risk for the development of type 2 diabetes, the recent study was published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis [published online February 25, 2018]. A quick overview of the study can be found online, here.

Fatty liver is very common in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients post-SVR
This particular study may be of interest to people with HCV, according to data published Mar 21, 2018 in the online journal World J Gastroenterology, evidence of steatosis was reported to be found in close to half of patients who achieve a sustained virologic response after treating with direct-acting antivirals. Full-text, here....

Tips - Eating Right
Eating better tied to lower risk of liver disease
April 27, 2018
(Reuters Health) - People who make an effort to improve their diet may be more likely to have less fat in their livers and a lower risk of liver disease than individuals who stick to unhealthy eating habits, a U.S. study suggests.

The Liver Loving Diet
"The Liver Loving Diet" is a book that will help you learn to eat well during all phases of liver disease. Karen Hoyt, the author, also blogs about living with and treating hepatitis C, cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

Mediterranean diet reduces liver fat, risk for NAFLD
March 30, 2018
Improved diet quality based on the Mediterranean-style diet score and Alternative Healthy Eating Index score correlated with less liver fat accumulation and a reduced risk for new-onset nonalcoholic fatty liver, according to a recently published study.
Continue reading @ Healio

Bottom Line
Spring is a great time to start again, experts agree two key elements in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease is weight loss and exercise. In the end, its all good for your liver!

See you soon,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The link between hepatitis C virus and diabetes mellitus: Improvement in insulin resistance after HCV eradication
Updates published in Clinical Liver Disease (CLD)
Clinical Liver Disease (CLD) is a digital educational resource published on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

Radiology in Liver Disease
The link between hepatitis C virus and diabetes mellitus: Improvement in insulin resistance after eradication of hepatitis C virus
Justine Hum M.D. Janice H. Jou M.D., M.H.S.
Pages: 73-76
First Published:6 April 2018
Watch a video presentation of this article
Watch the interview with the author
Full text

Controversies in HCV Management
Hepatitis C: Who should treat hepatitis C virus? The role of the primary care provider
Tram T. Tran M.D.
Pages: 66-68
First Published:6 April 2018
Watch a video presentation of this article
Watch the interview with the author
Full text

Friday, April 6, 2018

Prevalence and genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus infection among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Med Princ Pract. 2018 Apr 5. doi: 10.1159/000488985. [Epub ahead of print]
Published online: April 05, 2018

Prevalence and genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus infection among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Farshadpour F, Taherkhani R, Ravanbod MR, Eghbali SS.

Download PDF

In this study, the prevalence of HCV infection in the diabetic patients in southern Iran was high and it was not associated with the biochemical measurements. Genotype 3a was the only genotype found in the diabetic population of this study, and all the HCV-infected diabetic patients were unaware of the infection due to asymptomatic nature of chronic HCV infection. Therefore, screening of all diabetic patients for HCV infection should be recommended to prevent the serious consequences associated with the coexistence of these two chronic diseases in a long run.

As Noted In The Study: After genotype 1a, genotype 3a is the most prevalent genotype in Iran, which is frequently observed among young Iranian patients and intravenous drug users; while genotypes 2 and 4 are uncommon in Iran [11, 27]. Overall, it is not obvious whether HCV genotype 3a observed in the present study is responsible for the occurrence of DM or whether it merely follows the predominant genotypic pattern of HCV in the region. However, this specific genotypic pattern of HCV infection in the diabetic patients of the present study is unlikely to be ascribable to chance alone and, therefore, merits further attention.

This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and genotype distribution of HCV infection among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

Materials (Subjects) and Methods
A total of 556 consecutive patients with confirmed type 2 DM attending the diabetic clinic of Bushehr University of Medical Sciences and 733 non-diabetic subjects as control group were included in this study. Levels of FBS, ALT, AST, TCH and TG were measured by enzymatic colorimetric method, and the presence of anti-HCV antibodies were determined by ELISA. Semi-nested RT-PCR followed by sequencing was performed for all the anti-HCV seropositive samples. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 17.

Seroprevalence of HCV in diabetic patients was 1.98% (11/556), which was higher than HCV prevalence among the non-diabetic controls (4/733, 0.54%) (P=0.032). No significant differences in ALT, AST, FBS, TG and TCH levels were found between HCV seropositive and seronegative diabetic patients, although HCV seropositive diabetic patients tended to have higher ALT, AST and TCH levels but lower TG and FBS levels than seronegative patients. In the logistic regression analysis, only AST level was significantly associated with HCV seropositivity. Hence, AST level of 41-80 IU/L was the only significant predictive variable for HCV seropositivity in the diabetic patients (odds ratio, 4.89; 95% CI: 1.06-22.49; P= 0.041). Of 11 HCV seropositive diabetic patients, 10 (91%) had HCV viremia with genotype 3a.

Patients with type 2 DM had a higher prevalence of HCV infection than controls, and this HCV seropositivity was independent of biochemical parameters.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Does Pioglitazone Have the Same Effects on NASH in Patients With vs Without Diabetes?

AGA Blog
Does Pioglitazone Have the Same Effects on NASH in Patients With vs Without Diabetes?
Dr. Kristine Novak
Patients with prediabetes and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) benefit nearly as much from pioglitazone therapy as those with type-2 diabetes, researchers report in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The diabetes drug reduced fibrosis in non-diabetic patients with NASH, the clinical study found, although to a lesser extent than in patients..
Read more

Monday, March 26, 2018

Editorial: diabetes, obesity and clinical inertia—the recipe for advanced NASH

We should screen patients with diabetes for “diabetic hepatopathy” (NAFLD), in the same way, we do today for diabetic retinopathy or nephropathy, considering NASH as the “new” complication of T2DM. Earlier treatment will likely benefit patients as evidence shows that the majority of patients that lose ≥8%‐10% of body weight,1 or about two‐thirds of prediabetics/diabetics treated with pioglitazone,8 experience resolution of NASH. Breaking clinical inertia by targeting obese patients with T2DM is a reasonable first step to curb the looming epidemic of NASH‐cirrhosis among us.

Editorial: diabetes, obesity and clinical inertia—the recipe for advanced NASH

J. Leey K. Cusi
First published: 25 March 2018

Linked content
This article is linked to Patel et al and Patel and Hunt papers. To view these article visit and

The prevalence of NAFLD continues to rise, with T2DM and obesity being major risk factors for advanced NASH, cirrhosis and HCC.1 The prevalence of diabetes in adults ≥18 years in the USA is 12.2%, but doubles to 25.2% in those aged ≥65 (CDC, July 2017). This epidemic is particularly concerning at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) that looks after an ageing population. At our Veterans Administration Medical Center (Gainesville, Florida), the prevalence of diabetes in 2016 among primary care clinics was 29%. Obesity is also a problem: 41% of all veterans are obese.2 Calls to systematically screen obese patients with T2DM are gaining traction.3 Despite veterans being a high‐risk population, and NAFLD being identified as a significant problem,4 a cohesive early screening/treatment strategy is still lacking within the VHA and at a national level.

In a recent issue, Patel5 makes an even stronger case for action. They examine risk factors for advanced NASH in 399 patients identified with a liver biopsy between 2005 and 2015. The strength of the study was the large sample size with patients divided into well‐defined categories across the spectrum of NAFLD. Shortcomings were the lack of centralised pathology reading and inclusion of few females. However, the study had two important take home messages: the relevance of T2DM as the major risk factor for advanced NASH and the need to reverse clinical inertia. Both diabetes and clinical inertia, combined with obesity, appeared to be the perfect mix for disease progression, cirrhosis and even HCC. For instance, while 37% of patients with NAFL steatosis had T2DM, this climbed to 66% and 80% with NASH‐fibrosis and NASH‐cirrhosis respectively. Relative to controls, diabetics had a 4‐fold increase in the odds of being in the group of NASH‐without‐fibrosis, but eightfold in the NASH‐fibrosis and 12‐fold in the NASH‐cirrhosis groups. No other risk factor was as significant as diabetes; although most patients were obese and obesity‐related metabolic defects and “lipotoxicity”6 contributed to advanced NASH. Of note, 68% of women and 56% of men with T2DM in the VHA are obese.2 The study5 also highlights the need to educate healthcare providers about NAFLD. Even for a study between 2005 and 2015, lifestyle or pharmacological interventions were unacceptably low. The value of weight loss for NASH is well‐established,1 but only 12.3%‐19.5% of patients were offered diet/exercise and ≤2.6% had bariatric surgery. Considering ~30%‐40% of veterans have obesity/T2DM, still today few are offered the VHA behavioural modification programme and weight loss medications remain restricted. Medications proven to be effective for NASH, such as pioglitazone or vitamin E,1 were rarely prescribed (≤10%) in the study.5 The thiazolidinedione has been reported to be safe and effective in RCTs in NASH since 2006,7 including patients with7, 8 and without T2DM.1, 4 Pioglitazone may benefit even patients with advanced NASH‐fibrosis.9

In summary, Patel's work5 makes the case for screening obese patients with T2DM. It is ill‐advised to wait on long‐term outcome studies before supporting such a strategy as ~70% of obese patients with T2DM have NAFLD, and ~20% moderate‐to‐severe NASH‐fibrosis.4 We should screen patients with diabetes for “diabetic hepatopathy” (NAFLD), in the same way, we do today for diabetic retinopathy or nephropathy, considering NASH as the “new” complication of T2DM.10 Earlier treatment will likely benefit patients as evidence shows that the majority of patients that lose ≥8%‐10% of body weight,1 or about two‐thirds of prediabetics/diabetics treated with pioglitazone,8 experience resolution of NASH. Breaking clinical inertia by targeting obese patients with T2DM is a reasonable first step to curb the looming epidemic of NASH‐cirrhosis among us.

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Monday, March 19, 2018

Diabetes medicine reduces liver fat in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Diabetes medicine reduces liver fat in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Chicago, IL - In people with type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common and can progress to a severe liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Now a study has found that empagliflozin, a newer treatment for type 2 diabetes, reduces liver fat in patients with NAFLD and diabetes. Results of the randomized controlled study, called the E-LIFT Trial, will be presented Monday at the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill., during a late-breaking abstracts session.

Diabetes medications in the same class as empagliflozin have decreased liver fat in rodents with a buildup of fat in the liver, but in humans the effect of empagliflozin on liver fat has not been previously reported, said the study’s senior investigator, Ambrish Mithal, M.D., chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Medanta The Medicity Hospital, Gurugram, India.

“Despite the fact that NASH may progress to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, there are no approved medications for treating NASH or NAFLD, and agents like metformin, pioglitazone and vitamin E have had limited success in reducing liver fat,” Mithal said. “Our results suggest that empagliflozin may help in treating NAFLD.”

The study, funded by the Endocrine and Diabetes Foundation India in New Delhi, included 50 patients who were 40 years or older and had type 2 diabetes and NAFLD. The patients were randomly assigned to receive empagliflozin (10 milligrams per day) plus their standard medical treatment for type 2 diabetes, such as metformin and/or insulin, or to receive only their standard treatment without empagliflozin (control group). All patients were aware of their group assignment.

At the beginning of the study and 20 weeks later, the patients had blood tests of their liver enzyme levels, which are typically elevated in NAFLD. They also underwent measurement of their liver fat using a new, robust technique called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived proton density fat fraction.

After 20 weeks of treatment, the liver fat of patients receiving empagliflozin decreased from an average of 16.2 to 11.3 percent, whereas the control group had only a decrease from 16.4 to 15.6 percent, a statistically significant difference between groups, the researchers reported.

“While our findings do not prove that empagliflozin will help treat NAFLD or prevent NASH, the initial results are promising and open up the possibility that empagliflozin may provide additional benefits for patients with diabetes,” Mithal said.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014 for adults with type 2 diabetes, empagliflozin is in a drug class called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2, or SGLT-2, inhibitors. Empagliflozin primarily acts by increasing glucose excretion through the urine, thereby reducing blood glucose levels and body weight, research studies show.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Progression of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity in middle-aged women: A 20-year cohort study

Research Article

Progression of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity in middle-aged women: A 20-year cohort study

Xiaolin Xu , Gita D. Mishra, Annette J. Dobson, Mark Jones Published: March 13, 2018

Full Text
View Online
Download PDF

The prevalence of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity (co-occurrence of two or three of these conditions) has increased rapidly. Little is known about how the three conditions progress from one to another sequentially through the life course. We aimed to delineate this progression in middle-aged women and to determine the roles of common risk factors in the accumulation of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity.

Methods and findings
We used data from 13,714 women aged 45–50 years without a history of any of the three conditions. They were participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), enrolled in 1996, and surveyed approximately every 3 years to 2016. We characterized the longitudinal progression of the three conditions and multimorbidity. We estimated the accumulation of multimorbidity over 20 years of follow-up and investigated their association with both baseline and time-varying predictors (sociodemographic factors, lifestyle factors, and other chronic conditions).
Over 20 years, 2,511 (18.3%) of the women progressed to at least one condition, of whom 1,420 (56.6%) had diabetes, 1,277 (50.9%) had heart disease, and 308 (12.3%) had stroke; 423 (16.8%) had two or three of these conditions. Over a 3-year period, the age-adjusted odds of two or more conditions was approximately twice that of developing one new condition compared to women who did not develop any new conditions. For example, the odds for developing one new condition between Surveys 7 and 8 were 2.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.93–2.72), whereas the odds for developing two or more conditions was 6.51 (95% CI, 3.95–10.75). The onset of stroke was more strongly associated with the progression to the other conditions (i.e., 23.4% [95% CI, 16.3%–32.2%] of women after first onset of stroke progressed to other conditions, whereas the percentages for diabetes and heart disease were 9.9% [95% CI, 7.9%–12.4%] and 11.4% [95% CI, 9.1%–14.4%], respectively). Being separated, divorced, or widowed; being born outside Australia; having difficulty managing on their available income; being overweight or obese; having hypertension; being physically inactive; being a current smoker; and having prior chronic conditions (i.e., mental disorders, asthma, cancer, osteoporosis, and arthritis) were significantly associated with increased odds of accumulation of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity. The main limitations of this study were the use of self-reported data and the low number of events.

Stroke was associated with increased risk of progression to diabetes or heart disease. Social inequality, obesity, hypertension, physical inactivity, smoking, or having other chronic conditions were also significantly associated with increased odds of accumulating multimorbidity. Our findings highlight the importance of awareness of the role of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity among middle-aged women for clinicians and health-promotion agencies.

Author summary
Why was this study done?
  • In an aging population, it is common for women to experience two or more of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Few published studies have investigated how women progress from a “healthy” state to having one of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke and then to multimorbidity.
  • No prospective evidence is available on the roles of time-varying common risk factors (i.e., high blood pressure or obesity) in the accumulation of multimorbidity from diabetes, heart disease, and stroke—information that may be important for health promotion and risk modification.
What did the researchers do and find?
  • In this national prospective cohort study, 13,714 middle-aged Australian women (45–50 years old) were recruited in 1996 and have been followed for 2 decades. We collected data on their health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, as well as potential risk factors every 3 years until 2016.
  • From early to late middle age, many more women developed a single condition than multimorbidity. However, the odds ratio for accumulation of multimorbidity (i.e., from none or one to two or three, or from two to three of diabetes, heart disease, or stroke) was much higher than the odds of developing only one new condition, compared to women who did not develop any new condition over 3 years.
  • Nearly one-quarter of women who were initially diagnosed with stroke subsequently progressed to other conditions, a much higher percentage than those who were initially diagnosed with diabetes (9.9%) or heart disease (11.4%).
  • Women who were obese, had hypertension, were physically inactive, were smokers, or had other chronic conditions had higher odds of accumulating diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity over the following 3-year period than women without these characteristics.
What do these findings mean?
  • To our knowledge, this is the first study to delineate the accumulation of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity and investigate its association with both baseline and time-varying predictors in a prospective cohort study.
  • These findings suggest that health promotion, interventions for modifying lifestyle factors (obesity, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and smoking), and treatment of other chronic conditions would be potentially beneficial for preventing the accumulation of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke multimorbidity.
  • For women who have had a stroke, health promotion, intervention, and treatment would be particularly important, as they appear most likely to progress to other conditions
Continue to full text article: