Diabetes is currently the 5th most common cause of death in the world.
5% of people (1 in 20) in the UK have diabetes.
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US.

Around 1 in 8 people between 20 and 79 years old have their death attributed to diabetes.

The average life expectancy is reduced by:
More than 20 years (Type 1)
Up to 10 years (Type 2)


Latest News

Why Some People Go Into Type 2 Diabetes Remission – Health Line – 7-Aug-18
Patients with type 2 diabetes put on a yearlong calorie-restrictive diet.
Almost half of the participants achieved nondiabetic blood sugars.
Remission not because of “reversing insulin resistance.”
Weight loss resulted in improved function of their pancreatic beta cells.
Diabetes Strong cautions against rapid weight loss and severe calorie restriction.
Research based on UK Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT).

Diabetes diagnoses in the UK double in 20 years – Diabetes – 27-Feb-2018
3.7 million adults now live with either type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Obesity a major factor in the increased in type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured.
One in 18 adults in the UK have a form of diabetes.

Smart contact lens measures diabetics’ blood sugar – The Verge – 24-Jan-2018
Lens is made out of the same material as soft contacts.
Researchers have embedded electronics an LED light and a glucose sensor.
LED flickers off if wearer’s glucose levels rise above a certain level.
Trialled in rabbits – but not clear if human tears reflect glucose levels.

Startup raises $114 million to reverse type 1 diabetes – Business Insider – 30-Nov-2017
Semma Therapeutics is looking to use stem cells to regulate blood sugar level.
For some type 1 diabetes patients the condition is caused when body mistakenly kills beta cells found in the pancreas.
Embryonic stem cells are grown into beta cells.
Delivered via implant under a patient’s skin.

Type 2 diabetes plan targets those at high risk – BBC News – 15-Sep-2017
People with the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes are being prioritised for places on NHS lifestyle change programmes. The programmes help people to change their diet and do more exercise.
According to NHS England there are currently 5 mln people in England at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Reports that frequent drinking prevents diabetes are inaccurate – NHS – 28-Jul-2017
Study of 70,000 people who had completed a survey about their health and lifestyle in 2007-2008. People were only asked about their drinking habits and other lifestyle choices at a single time point. Confounding factors (such as diet and exercise) may not have been recorded in enough detail to be useful. Study did not distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes (which have different causes).

Treating Diabetes by Altering Other Cells to Produce Insulin – LEAF Science – 4-Jul-2017
Novel approach seeks to cure type 1 diabetes and to allow type 2 diabetics to stop using insulin shots
Researchers able to increase the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin.
New therapy uses gene transfer to introduce new genes into cells in the pancreas.
Mice cured for one year without any side effects.
Clinical trials in the next three years.

‘Anti-aging’ hormone could unlock new treatments for kidney and heart disease – Medical Xpress – 13-Feb-2017
King’s College London has found that patients with diabetes suffering from the early stages of kidney disease have a deficiency of Klotho.
Klotho levels could be used as a risk marker to predict kidney disease.
Klotho protects the vascular system against changes associated with abnormal ageing.

Big data holds key to tackling diabetes – Scotsman – 21-Jan-2017
AXA Research Fund funding research aims to mine existing data sets (e.g. PCRs, wearable devices).
Patterns may predict risk of future complications.
Aims to identify disease pathways for personalised medicine.
Nearly 350 million people worldwide are affected by diabetes – and rising.
NHS spends around £10 billion each year treating the disease.

Smart patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed – Kurzweil AI – 20-Jan-2016
Skin patch covered in painless microneedles that are loaded with tiny insulin-carrying pouches.
Replaces finger-pricking and insulin shots .
Vesicles function as both glucose sensing element (GOx) and insulin release actuator/
Device has only been tested on mice so far.

Oxford researchers developing a diabetes breathalyzer – MobiHealthNews – 9-Nov-2016
University of Oxford are developing a portable non-invasive device to detect diabetes and monitor glucose levels.
Work-in-progress published in the American Chemical Society’s journal Analytical Chemistry
Uses an absorbent polymer that traps acetone from exhaled breath and then probes with a laser to determine its concentration.
Previous studies studies have found that elevated levels of acetone are found in the exhaled breath of diabetes patients.
Accuracy of the device tested under a range of conditions, e.g. after exercising, fasting overnight.

10-minute walk after a meal good for diabetes – NHS – 18-Oct-2016
Study compared 10-minute walk after a main meal to a single 30-minute walk each day.
Walking after a meal resulted in 12% lower blood glucose levels.
Low volume study: 41 adults (average age 60) who had diabetes for an average of 10 years.
Post-meal physical activity may avoid the need for an increased total insulin dose.

FDA Approves Automated Device to Manage Diabetes – Bioscience Technology – 29-Sep-2016
Patients with type-1 diabetes will no longer have to constantly check glucose levels.
Device from Medtronic automatically monitors glucose levels and administers the proper insulin dose.
Artificial pancreas measures glucose levels every five minutes.
MiniMed 670G is approved for type 1 diabetes patients 14 years and older.

Growing tiny stomachs to help diabetics produce their own insulin – STAT – 19-Feb-2016
Cells found in bottom of stomach particularly good to reprogram as insulin-producing cells.
Grew them into mini insulin-producing organs.
Glucose levels kept normal in 25% of recipient mice.

Promising cell therapy for diabetes hidden in seaweed bubble – STAT – 25-Jan-2016
In type 1 diabetes the immune system dismantles the pancreatic cells, known as beta cells, that normally produce insulin.
Can produce beta cells derived from donor human embryonic stem cells but are rejected.
Disguising them in alginate (a seaweed extract) allows sugar and insulin to flow between the cells and the body, but blocks immune cells.
Body eventually identifies material as a foreign substance, so MIT researchers tested 774 variations of alginate.
New alginate covered beta cells still working well 6 months after being transplanted into mice.
Next step is primate studies.

Technology increases life expectancy of diabetes patients – Diabetes.co.uk – 5-Oct-2015
Careful management of blood glucose levels as treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D) enabled by technological advances in blood glucose meters, insulin pumps, smartphone apps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs).
Refers to 2012 US study showing an increase of 15 years in life expectancy for those diagnosed 1965-1980 compared to those diagnosed 1950-1964.
However, type 1 diabetes is still associated with a shorter life expectancy than people without diabetes.
Study reference: Medical Journal of Australia

Google Takes Aim at Diabetes with Big Data – Health IT Analytics – 31-Aug-2015
Google was granted a patent for a contact lens that continuously measures a patient’s blood glucose in March of 2015.
New partnership with Joslin Diabetes Center and Sanofi could be ready to bring it to market.
Assume more miniaturized medical devices around the corner.

Smart insulin hope for diabetes – BBC News – 10-Feb-15
Automatically turns itself on and off to maintain correct blood glucose levels

Bionic pancreas in successful human trial – BBC News – 31-Aug-14
Mimics a real pancreas by delivering both insulin to lower blood sugar and glucagon to raise it.


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