Friday, October 30, 2009


We sometimes use a recently coined term to describe these two disease condition which takes up ( in some country ) up to a third of the healthcare dollar. The term is diabesity ( diabetes with obesity ). It is true to say that at the root of cardiovascular disease is diabetes and obesity, maybe it begins with only obesity with contributes to diabetes and then the rest. We know that our fast western culture, allows us a short time to grab a meal ( everything is instant ), and we rely on fast food to fill over tummies before the next appointment or task. Invariably, all the fast foods around us ( McDonald and the like ) contain too much carbo and too much trans-fat, and have often been blame for the rising level of obesity that we see growing around us. Of course, the fact the we are always stressed and on the move with no time to exercise, does not help.
Recently, the reknown British medical journal Lancet, published a study by the US led Diabetes Prevention Progamme Research group. It is an interesting study, which enrolled 3,000 patients who were overweight and followed them for 3 years of the study and further on to another 7 years ( essentially a 10 year study ). Group one consist of patients who were aught to lose 7% of their weight over 3 years, thru' dieting and exercising half hour a day for 5 days a week. The second group received just normal lifestyle changes counselling and the drug metformin, and the third group were the control placebo, who received only life-style counselling. After 3 years, the group with the intensive diet, lowering weight by 7% and who were regularly exercising, had a 58% lower incidence of diabetes, and this was continued for the next 7 years too, if they continued to lose weight. Group 2 had only a 30% reduction in incidence of diabetes, bothe when compared to the placebo group which act as a control. All the impprovements continued out to the 10 years of followup.
I must say that this is probably one of the best way to stretch the healthcare dollar, except that there is a snag! It requires the patient / subject to take good care of his / her own health, and that proves to be a problem, even as we all grumble that we are spending too much on healthcare. You cannot win them all.

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