New culprit identified in metabolic syndrome

A new study suggests uric acid may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The work also demonstrates the importance of the intestine in removing uric acid from the body, opening the door to potential therapies for preventing or treating type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Two drugs better than one to treat youth with type 2 diabetes

A combination of two diabetes drugs was more effective in treating 10-17-year-olds with recent-onset type 2 diabetes than one, according to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis who participated in a multicenter clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Washington University School of Medicine segment of the trial was led by Neil H. White, professor of pediatrics and of medicine and director of the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit and a diabetes specialist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Natural compound helps reverse diabetes in mice

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have restored normal blood sugar metabolism in diabetic mice using a compound the body makes naturally. The finding suggests that it may one day be possible for people to take the compound much like a daily vitamin as a way to treat or even prevent type 2 diabetes.

Genetic variant linked to blocked heart arteries in patients with diabetes

Researchers have identified the first genetic variant associated with severity of coronary artery disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. Though this variant is not likely the cause of more severe coronary disease, the researchers say, it implicates a gene that could be. Such a gene has promise as a future target for treating coronary artery disease in diabetic patients.

Diabetes prevention programs built around Afrocentric culture successful in changing dietary behavior of African-American women

Preventing Type 2 diabetes among African-American womenWhile culturally traditional foods are a big part of the African-American heritage, they also are a significant factor in the type 2 diabetes epidemic among African-American women. And while the prevalance of type 2 diabetes is associated with higher rates of obesity, diabetes nutrition education programs have been relatively unsuccessful in attracting and retaining African-American women. However a new study shows that there is a way to reach members of this population and make a positive impact on their dietary behavior.

Gene may increase risk for type 2 diabetes

Two international research teams — one led by M. Alan Permutt, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — have found variations in a gene that may predispose people to type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. The two research teams, which collaborated extensively, will report their findings in companion articles in the April issue of Diabetes.

High rate of depression found in African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes

Photo by David Kilper/WUSTL PhotoWendy F. Auslander, Ph.D. (left), works with St. Louis-area peer counselors in the “Eat Well, Live Well” program she pioneered with colleagues at the School of Medicine.As the cases of type 2 diabetes in African-American women increase at an epidemic rate, researchers are examining risk factors involved with this disease in order to create programs that will hopefully slow this growing problem. According to a recent study at the George Warren Brown (GWB) School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes experience long periods of depression due, in part, to a lack of economic and social resources. “At the beginning of our study, 40 percent of our sample of African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes reported clinically significant depression,” says Wendy Auslander, Ph.D., professor at GWB and co-author of the study. “Unlike their nondepressed peers, these women reported fewer economic assets and greater economic distress. Issues such as unemployment, low self-esteem and a low appraisal of their economic situation contributed to their depression.”