Tag Archives: patients

New Study of Chicago ER Patients Reveals Troubling Findings on Diabetes – NBC Chicago

Diabetes News

A new study published in the JAMA Network by UI Health staff found hundreds of unsuspecting patients had diabetes and prediabetes, that left untreated could lead to major complications down the road.

“What’s novel about this is that we’re conducting a preventative health screening within our emergency department. So most people that are coming to the emergency department are not coming in because they want to be screened. But we also know that diabetes is of high prevalence within our community,” Dr. Janet Lin said, an ER physician who helped implement the diabetes screenings.

For three months starting in February 2021, UI Health randomly screened more than 2,000 ER patients who met criteria for a diabetes screening.

Of the 2,074 screened, 52.3% had an abnormal A1C result. A stunning number, but that isn’t what shocked doctors the most.

“70% of the people that basically had an abnormal test, in aggregate, did not know that they were either prediabetic, or diabetic,” Dr. Lin said.

Of those 1,085 patients with abnormal results, 69.9% were prediabetic and 30.1% were diabetic. Among those patients, 62 had severe diabetes, which could be life-threatening.

“If it goes uncontrolled, it will lead to a lot of complications that include stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure, loss of limbs, loss of vision,” Dr. Lin said.

Dr. Lin and the study authors say this should be a wake up call that diabetes screenings are important, and often consist of a simple blood test.

The American Diabetes Association recommends anyone over the age of 45 be screened for diabetes every three years. People between the ages of 18-44, with a BMI greater than 25, which is an indication of obesity, should also be screened every three years as well.

UI Health has continued the diabetes screening beyond the pilot study that lasted three months and they’re seeing similar results. On average, they are diagnosing 300 people every month with prediabetes or diabetes, through the emergency room screenings.

When coordinators called one of the first patients who was found to have prediabetes, Dr. Janet Lin said he answered the phone right away and was very surprised by the results.

“He said, “What?” And he’s like, you know, I’m in line at the McDonald’s. I was just about to buy a Big Mac or some other thing. He’s like, I am not going to get a Big Mac, please tell me how I can actually help change my lifestyle,” Dr. Lin said.

Patients are referred for further care, a win for the medical community that is working hard to fight what is often called a silent disease.

“This is an opportunity for us to be able to screen for people that might not otherwise get screened,” Dr. Lin said.

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‘Cold wave increases hospitalization, death among diabetes patients’

Diabetes News

A research team at Ajou University School of Medicine has found that the cold wave during the winter season increases the number of hospitalizations and death among diabetes patients.

An Ajou University School of Medicine research team, led by professor Kim Kyoung-nam of preventive medicine, has found that cold weather increases the hospitalization rate and death of diabetes patients.
An Ajou University School of Medicine research team, led by professor Kim Kyoung-nam of preventive medicine, has found that cold weather increases the hospitalization rate and death of diabetes patients.

The team, led by Professor Kim Kyoung-nam of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, analyzed the hospitalization and death data among diabetes patients that occurred during the three weeks following the onset of a cold wave. They used two kinds of data — insurance claim data from the National Health Insurance Service and deaths from Statistics Korea.

Professor Kim’s team used a Quasi-Poisson regressions model for time-series data analysis to estimate the association between hospitalizations and deaths due to cold and diabetes by region across the country, and then calculated a national estimate through meta-analysis.

The team defined a cold wave as cases where the average temperature was below the bottom 5 percent for more than two days for five months from November 2021 to March 2022 by region.

As a result, hospitalization and death increased by 1.45 and 2.02 times, respectively, over the three weeks after the cold wave occurred, compared to the non-cold wave period, among diabetes patients. 

The team also confirmed that the stronger the cold wave and the longer the duration, the higher the hospitalization and mortality rate among diabetes patients.

Although further studies are required, the research team stressed that it believes that diabetic patients are more vulnerable to cold because peripheral vasoconstriction is not sufficient when exposed to cold, and their ability to regulate body temperature is reduced.

“While there is a lot of social interest in heat waves due to climate change, we estimate that the health impact from cold waves or low temperatures is greater in mid-latitude regions including Seoul, Shanghai, and New York,” Professor Kim said. “Considering that the number of elderly and diabetics who are particularly sensitive to cold or low temperatures is increasing worldwide, continuous attention and preparation for cold or low weathers are necessary.”

The team hopes that this study will help diabetic patients cope with cold waves or low temperatures that will become more frequent and stronger in the future due to climate change and help shape efficient public health policies, Kim added.

The research, titled Associations between cold spells and hospital admission and mortality due to diabetes: A nationwide multi-region time-series study in Korea,” was published in Science of The Total Environment in September.

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