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Cigarette Smoking Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

According to an article in the October issue of Diabetes Care, cigarette smokers are nearly three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. In a recent national study, scientists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center examined the relationship between smoking and diabetes.They focused on a pre-diabetic condition known as insulin resistance, in which increasing amounts of insulin are needed to digest the same amount of glucose. Researchers compared the incidence of diabetes after five years among smokers and people who had never smoked. Of the more than 900 middle-aged adults studied, smokers were 2.7 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who had never smoked. Study participants included almost equal numbers of men and women, and roughly equal numbers of Caucasians, Hispanics and African-Americans.While it has been known for years that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and seriously raises the risk for heart disease, these findings identify another poor health outcome associated with smoking…and provide yet another good reason to quit! FDA Approves Drug to Reduce Stroke Risk

In September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved expanding the pool of people who can take the popular cholesterol drug Lipitor® to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack to include people with diabetes who have risk factors for heart disease. The FDA also approved the use of Lipitor to reduce the chance of stroke in people without diabetes, but who have multiple other risk factors. People considered at higher risk for stroke include those who are 55 or older, smoke, are obese or have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of stroke or diabetes.

According to Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Lipitor, a study of 2,800 patients with Type 2 diabetes, near normal cholesterol, and at least one other risk factor for stroke showed that patients on Lipitor suffered 50 percent fewer strokes than those taking a placebo. Another study of people with multiple risk factors for stroke found that Lipitor reduced the risk of stroke by 26 percent compared to those taking a placebo. Relief for Pain of Diabetic Neuropathy

Earlier this year, the FDA approved a drug that could help millions of people with chronic nerve pain, including the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. The pain is sometimes described as sharp “pins and needles” in the feet, legs, hands or arms. Lyrica® (pregabalin), works by calming hyper-excitable nerve endings that cause the debilitating pain.

The drug’s Class 5 classification – the lowest classification for any controlled substance – puts it in the same category as some cough medicines containing codeine, but still requires a prescription. An estimated 62 percent of the 18 million Americans with diabetes will develop some form of diabetic neuropathy, and about 3 million will experience painful neuropathy in their extremities.

EVENTS Diabetes Roundtable Discussion Sponsored by Desert Diabetes Club November 16, 2 to 3 p.m. Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower Call 760-773-1578. Desert Diabetes Club Holiday Luncheon December 2, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Desert Willow Golf Resort 38995 Desert Willow Drive, Palm Desert $30; $50 for two. Call 760-773-1578 by November 18. A Day of Hope for Diabetes® March 18, 2006, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.emc.org/ddc

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