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what we're reading - February 2007

Published: 2/28/07

If you missed this column last time, we should explain: we barely have time to keep up with all the news in diabetes, so we assume it's hard for you as well. This is why we suggest you take a few minutes to read below about our favorite pieces from the recent literature on diabetes. Not only do we monitor just about every patient magazine and newsletter out there, we also follow many scientific journals and identify the best, most relevant articles to highlight.

Some of the pieces we bring to your attention this month can act as guides or resources for you. After all, as new treatments become available and possible treatment combinations multiply, you'll want to stay abreast of all the developments and we think the articles below are fantastic resources to help you do so.

Our favorite patient articles for this issue:

"Go Ahead, Pick Your Pump: Which Pump is Right for You?" Gary Scheiner, Diabetes Self-Management, November/December 2006.  

With humor and detail, Gary Scheiner, a certified diabetes educator and author of one of our favorite books about diabetes, Think Like a Pancreas, gives us his enlightened view about which features are important in a pump and which are just "sales fluff." There are many options — seven pump manufacturers, each with several models — and small variations can make a difference in your control. But how to choose?

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"The 2007 Resource Guide," various authors, Diabetes Forecast, January 2007. 

 The "Resource Guide" is special supplement to Diabetes Forecast that comes out every year and features comments on and comparisons of all the available products for managing diabetes. This is a very useful, one-stop information guide that will be great to keep around all year. 

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"Why Is There More Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes?" Daniel L. Lorber, Practical Diabetology, December 2006. 

We like Practical Diabetology because it's straightforward, actionable, and smart — but, be warned, it's for physicians. This article examines how diabetes relates to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease signifies problems with the heart, veins, or arteries and includes bad events like strokes and heart attacks. Lately, its relationship with diabetes has received broad acknowledgement. 

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WARNING! HARDER SCIENCE AHEAD!

Clinical Trials: ADOPT and CHICAGO

Two important studies on thiazolidinediones (TZDs), a class of insulin sensitizers, were published in November and December of 2006. The two currently available TZDs are rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos). While it isn't correct to apply the study results of one drug to another drug, overall both TZDs seem to have the same mechanism of action and effects. The ADOPT trial was a five-year study that included 4,360 adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

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ADA/EASD Algorithm for Type 2 Diabetes

In August 2006, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) published a joint consensus statement on glucose management in type 2 diabetes. The statement includes a new treatment algorithm for doctors and nurses, which emphasizes four main points:

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What do you think?