Stories written by Diabetes South Texas Staff

Genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes and obesity: from genome-wide association studies to rare variants and beyond

Diabetologia/ Springer: 8/1/14

During the past 7 years, genome-wide association studies have shed light on the contribution of common genomic variants to the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes, obesity and related intermediate phenotypes. The discoveries have firmly established more than 175 genomic loci associated with these phenotypes. Despite the tight correlation between type 2 diabetes and obesity, these conditions do not appear to share a common genetic background, since they have few genetic risk loci in common. The recent genetic discoveries do however highlight specific details of the interplay between the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity. The focus is currently shifting towards investigations of data from targeted array-based genotyping and exome and genome sequencing to study the individual and combined effect of low-frequency and rare variants in metabolic disease. Read more

Contributors to Mortality in High-Risk Diabetic Patients in the Diabetes Heart Study

Diabetes Care: July 2, 2014

OBJECTIVE Not all individuals with type 2 diabetes and high coronary artery calcified plaque (CAC) experience the same risk for adverse outcomes. This study examined a subset of high-risk individuals based on CAC >1,000 mg (using a total mass score) and evaluated whether differences in a range of modifiable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors provided further insights into risk for mortality.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We assessed contributors to all-cause mortality among 371 European American individuals with type 2 diabetes and CAC >1,000 from the Diabetes Heart Study (DHS) after 8.2 ± 3.0 years (mean ± SD) of follow-up. Differences in known CVD risk factors, including modifiable CVD risk factors, were compared between living (n = 218) and deceased (n = 153) participants. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify risk for all-cause mortality. Read More

Breast-feeding and maternal risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study and meta-analysis

Springer/Diabetologia: July 2014


We aimed to examine the association between breast-feeding and maternal risk of type 2 diabetes and to investigate whether this association is mediated by anthropometric and biochemical factors.


A case–cohort study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam Study between 1994 and 2005 including 1,262 childbearing women (1,059 in a random sub-cohort and 203 incident cases) mainly aged between 35 and 64 years at baseline was applied. Self-reported lifetime duration of breast-feeding was assessed by questionnaire. Blood samples were used for biomarker measurement (HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, C-reactive protein, fetuin-A, γ-glutamyltransferase, adiponectin). A systematic literature search and meta-analysis was conducted of prospective cohort studies investigating breast-feeding and risk of type 2 diabetes. Read More

Effect of Patients’ Risks and Preferences on Health Gains With Plasma Glucose Level Lowering in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

JAMA: 6/30/14

Importance  Type 2 diabetes mellitus is common, and treatment to correct blood glucose levels is standard. However, treatment burden starts years before treatment benefits accrue. Because guidelines often ignore treatment burden, many patients with diabetes may be overtreated.

Objective  To examine how treatment burden affects the benefits of intensive vs moderate glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Design, Setting, and Participants  We estimated the effects of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) reduction on diabetes outcomes and overall quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) using a Markov simulation model. Model probabilities were based on estimates from randomized trials and observational studies. Simulated patients were based on adult patients with type 2 diabetes drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. Read more

Ethnic-Specific Obesity Cutoffs for Diabetes Risk: Cross-sectional Study of 490,288 UK Biobank Participants

Diabetes Care June 29, 2014

OBJECTIVE To compare the relationship between adiposity and prevalent diabetes across ethnic groups in the UK Biobank cohort and to derive ethnic-specific obesity cutoffs that equate to those developed on white populations in terms of diabetes prevalence.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS UK Biobank recruited 502,682 U.K. residents aged 40–69 years. We used baseline data on the 490,288 participants from the four largest ethnic subgroups: 471,174 (96.1%) white, 9,631 (2.0%) South Asian, 7,949 (1.6%) black, and 1,534 (0.3%) Chinese. Regression models were developed for the association between anthropometric measures (BMI, waist circumference, percentage body fat, and waist-to-hip ratio) and prevalent diabetes, stratified by sex and adjusted for age, physical activity, socioeconomic status, and heart disease. Read More

Food-Insecure Dietary Patterns Are Associated With Poor Longitudinal Glycemic Control in Diabetes: Results From the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study

Diabetes Care June 26, 2014

OBJECTIVE To determine whether dietary patterns associated with food insecurity are associated with poor longitudinal glycemic control.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a prospective, population-based, longitudinal cohort study, we ascertained food security (Food Security Survey Module), dietary pattern (Healthy Eating Index 2005 [HEI 2005]), and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in Puerto Rican adults aged 45–75 years with diabetes at baseline (2004–2009) and HbA1c at ∼2 years follow-up (2006–2012). We determined associations between food insecurity and dietary pattern and assessed whether those dietary patterns were associated with poorer HbA1c concentration over time, using multivariable-adjusted repeated subjects mixed-effects models. Read More

Self-care and Subjectivity among Mexican Diabetes Patients in the United Statesa

Wiley: 19 JUN 2014

Type 2 diabetes is considered a public health crisis, particularly among people of Mexican descent in the United States. Clinical approaches to diabetes management increasingly emphasize self-care, which places responsibility for illness on individuals and mandates self-regulation. Using narrative and free-list data from a two-phase study of low-income first- and second-generation Mexican immigrants living with diabetes, we present evidence that self-care among our participants involves emotion regulation as well as maintenance of and care for family. These findings suggest, in turn, that the ideology of selfhood on which these practices are based does not correspond with the ideology of selfhood cultivated in the U.S. clinical sphere. Divergence between these ideologies may lead to self-conflict for patients and the experience of moral blame. We argue that our participants use their explanations of diabetes causality and control as a form of self-making, which both resists such blame and asserts an alternative form of selfhood that may align more closely with the values held by our Mexican-American participants. Read More

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