Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist July 2012 Contents 526 Australian Pharmacist July 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Diabetes Awareness Week
Australians are being reminded to
protect their hearts during Diabetes
Awareness Week, 8--14 July, as the
Australian Diabetes Council (ADC) focuses
on simple lifestyle changes to prevent
cardiovascular-related complications of
diabetes such as heart attack and stroke.
Diabetes is not only Australia's fastest
growing chronic disease, but one of
the leading contributing factors to
Australia's biggest killer -- cardiovascular
disease. People with diabetes are three
to four times more likely to develop
cardiovascular disease than those who do
not have diabetes.
The Council will launch a new diabetes
and heart health booklet during Diabetes
Awareness Week. It can be downloaded
free from www.australiandiabetescouncil.
com from 9 July.
Bronwyn Penny, Manager of Prevention
Programs, ADC, said, 'People with
diabetes often have bad cholesterol
particles that are more likely to cause
a blockage in blood vessels than those
without diabetes. Taking a few simple
steps can dramatically reduce your risk
of diabetes, stroke and heart attack.
Prevention is better than a cure. Small
changes today can prevent larger health
For more information about diabetes and
Diabetes Awareness Week activities visit:
A new Australian book aiming to
assist people manage diabetes has
Called Don't Feel Like a Prick?, the book
was written by Lynn Santer who was
recently diagnosed with diabetes. It is
the companion to an upcoming lm on
diabetes of the same title that Lynn Santer
is co-producing with veteran adventurer
Alby Mangels. Ms Santer is Alby Mangels'
authorised biographer and his manager
for eight years.
Ms Santer said, 'It's small, easy to follow,
a bit irreverent, at turns funny, poignant,
unapologetically confrontational and
deliberately not politically correct.
It contains celebrity interest, personal
stories and is an enjoyable and
page-turning read with simple, useful
information and messages. There are lots
of tips and tricks to manage diabetes and
we touch on the psychology of why so
many are ignoring it.'
She said the book was written in an
engaging and entertaining manner that
people would want to read, with plenty of
cartoons and some adults-only content.
'If you don't have diabetes, you know
someone who does, even if they don't
know it, so everyone should read this
book. The life you save by taking the
advice in this book might be your own!'
A percentage of all pro ts from the book
will go towards diabetes research.
Tighter blood sugar control
Aggressive control of blood sugar
levels in diabetes can help prevent
diabetic neuropathy according to a
new systematic review in The Cochrane
Library. However, the review
suggests that optimal target levels
need to be established to prevent
People with diabetes control their blood
sugar levels through insulin injections,
diet and drugs, to compensate for their
bodies producing too little insulin
(type 1 diabetes) or becoming resistant
to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Up to half of
people with diabetes develop diabetic
neuropathy. It is possible to prevent
neuropathy by strict control of blood
sugar levels through a number of ways
including di erent insulin regimens
and diet modi cation, but evidence for
the e ects of this approach, known as
enhanced glucose control, has not been
systematically reviewed until now.
The results analysed in the review are
drawn from six studies investigating
the risk of neuropathy in people who
received enhanced glucose control
treatments including extra insulin
injections, antidiabetic drugs, and diet
changes. The review looked at evidence
in type 1 and type 2 diabetes separately.
In two studies involving 1,228 people
with type 1 diabetes signi cantly fewer
people developed neuropathy each
year with enhanced glucose control
treatment compared with routine care.
In four studies involving 6,669 people
with type 2 diabetes the reduction in new
cases of neuropathy was small and not
statistically signi cant.
Lead author of the review, Brian
Callaghan, MD, Assistant Professor at the
Department of Neurology, University
of Michigan in the US said, 'Overall, this
evidence suggests that a more aggressive
approach to controlling sugar levels
can be e ective in delaying the onset of
neuropathy in diabetes. The results also
highlight the di erences between type
1 and type 2 diabetes. The less dramatic
e ect of enhanced glucose control in
type 2 diabetes may indicate that other
factors, besides high glucose levels, may
be important in causing nerve damage in
However, the risk of adverse e ects
associated with the treatment,
including hypoglycaemia, was higher
with enhanced glucose control.
The researchers say further research
is needed to optimise target levels for
safe treatments that will both prevent
neuropathy and minimise serious
side e ects.
'Although these results show clear
bene ts for preventing neuropathy in
people with diabetes, they should be
weighed against potential adverse e ects.
Future studies must establish target
levels for glucose control that will balance
bene ts and side e ects.' said Assoc
Full citation: Callaghan BC, Little AA, Feldman EL, Hughes RAC.
Enhanced glucose control for preventing and treating diabetic
neuropathy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue
6. Art. No.: CD007543. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007543.pub2 URL
on publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/14651858.CD007543.
(For more on diabetes see page 549)
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