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November 7, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Two of the most worrisome trends in healthcare - the soaring rates of Type 2 diabetes and dementia - share several key biological processes. And scientists are beginning to think that is more than just a coincidence. Many researchers now believe that proper control of blood sugar could pay dividends in the future by reducing the number of people stricken by Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia and even the normal cognitive decline that comes with age. The concept that brain diseases share little in common with diseases arising elsewhere in the body is rapidly crumbling, says Debra Cherry, executive vice president of the Alzheimer's Assn.
August 23, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A new study found that people who'd had coronary bypass surgery were more than three times more likely to be alive 15 years later if they were happily married than if they were not married. A big part of this effect could be due to the positive influence of a supportive spouse, the authors say -- in getting the patient to live better, take meds, get to doctor appointments, etc. Plus marriage could give someone heightened reason and feeling of responsibility to look after themselves.
July 21, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Diabetes and heart disease are intertwined in ways that are still not fully understood. The most recent example of this complicated relationship is a study published Monday that finds an experimental medication designed to raise HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind) also appears to control blood sugar and may be helpful to people with Type 2 diabetes. The drug is called torcetrapib -- and it will never be approved. That's because, in clinical trials, the drug caused severe side effects even though it did raise HDL cholesterol.
July 8, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A diagnosis of diabetes can be devastating, but there are ways to manage the disease--and  exercise is one of them. Join a live Web chat on diabetes and exercise Monday, July 11, at 11 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Central time, 2 p.m. Eastern time) with Dr. Ruchi Mathur and learn how even moderate workouts such as walking can go a long way toward controlling blood sugar and maintaining health overall. We asked Mathur, director of the diabetes program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an endocrinologist at the facility's Weight Loss Center , if people with diabetes should take any special precautions before embarking on an exercise program.
June 22, 2011 | By Christine Mai-Duc, Washington Bureau
The first time Sonia Sotomayor was tested for diabetes, a lab technician sat her down in a big chair and assured her the needle in his hand would not hurt her. "I kept watching this big needle coming to my arm, and I looked at him and I said, 'Oh, it's going to hurt.' " The 7-year-old Sotomayor hopped off the chair and ran out of the hospital, hiding under a parked car, the hospital staff in pursuit. When they finally dragged her out to draw blood, "I was screaming so much I didn't feel the needle," she said, to knowing chuckles from the audience.
May 3, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Exercise is beneficial for diabetics, but some questions remain -- how much exercise is needed, and what kind? A study finds that structured exercise programs lasting 150 minutes or more a week may be best for those with type 2 diabetes. The meta-analysis released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. examined 47 randomized clinical trials that included 8,538 patients and lasted at least 12 weeks. Of those studies, 23 focused on structured exercise training and 24 looked at physical activity advice, and all assessed how much the programs lowered hemoglobin A1c levels, a test used to evaluate blood sugar control over several months.
March 21, 2011 | By Tammy Worth, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Diabetes doesn't pounce on a person out of the blue. Before the diagnosis, a person may linger on the fringes of the condition ? blood sugar high but not yet over that line that is clearly diabetes ? for years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released figures in January showing that the number of American adults with prediabetes had jumped from 57 million in 2008 to 79 million in 2010. During the same period, the number with full-on diabetes grew from 23.6 million to 26 million, the vast majority of which are Type 2 cases.
February 18, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Yes, he's had numerous stints on reality TV and millions of records sold -- but singer Bret Michaels may be best known as the star of a real-life medical drama. In April 2010, he had an emergency appendectomy. Less than two weeks later, he had a brain hemorrhage. A month after that, he had a stroke, caused by a hole in his heart. He had surgery to repair the heart defect in January. Michaels also has Type 1 diabetes, which was diagnosed when he was 6 years old. He spoke about how he deals with that disease in a recent interview with Diabetes Health magazine.
February 2, 2011 | Janet Stobart / Los Angeles Times
A team of European doctors has tested an “artificial pancreas” aimed at helping pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar. The goal? To lower their risk of having an abnormal birth or a fatal episode of hypoglycemia. Funded by the charitable foundation Diabetes UK , the research explores the during-pregnancy potential of a device the size of a cellphone. This "pancreas" has a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump that maintains a reliable level of blood sugar.
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