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Plans to stop animal insulin production. Bad news for developing countries

For the West, the availability of animal insulin is a question of freedom of choice. However, it is the only way of survival for a number of people with diabetes in the developing world. Will the plea for help from the people with diabetes in the developing countries, in search of life, go unnoticed, unheard?

Diabetes education in the spotlight

The IDF Congress has historically served as an international forum for sharing scientific advances. For the first time in Congress history, education, nutrition and the psychosocial aspects of diabetes were showcased in a specific track and addressed in a plenary lecture at the 17th IDF Congress in Mexico City. The inclusion of these themes served as a reassuring confirmation that the world's diabetes experts recognize the relevance of education and psychosocial aspects in improving diabetes outcomes.

National diabetes centres guarantee better healthcare in Hungary

People with diabetes in Hungary have access to free insulin, subsidized medication and diabetes equipment within a healthcare system whereby diabetes care is provided mainly by General Practitioners (GPs). Only a small number of people with diabetes - those with type 1 and difficult type 2 cases - are treated at national diabetes centres. These diabetes centres however provide a guarantee for better healthcare for all by consulting with and organizing postgraduate training for family doctors.

Insulin resistance: the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease

As everyone with diabetes knows, insulin is the most important hormone controlling the blood glucose level, with effects particularly directed to muscle, fat and liver. It has been known for several decades that a poor response of the body’s tissues to insulin – called ‘insulin resistance’ – is of major importance in the development of type 2 diabetes. Many people develop insulin resistance and have a significant metabolic disturbance and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Minneapolis shows the way in improving large-scale diabetes care

More than 16 million Americans have diabetes. It is the sixth leading cause of death by disease in the USA. The American Diabetes Association’s Provider Recognition Programme, launched in 1997 to encourage and set standards for comprehensive and quality healthcare for people with diabetes, is working. Minneapolis has created such a model which has achieved ADA recognition. The result has been a significant improvement in blood glucose control among the HMOs’ patients, as well as better screening for – and control of – related risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Turkey responds to St Vincent

In Anatolia, the quality of diabetes care is generally lower than in the rest of Turkey. Half the people with diabetes living in this region are not aware of their condition. Neither are many on any treatment. Since last year, prompted by the aims of the St Vincent Declaration, the South-eastern Anatolia Diabetes Project (GAPDIAB) has been in operation in response to this situation.

Latest studies clarify state of health in Bahrain

For the past few decades, the Government of Bahrain has been consistently and conscientiously updating the country’s healthcare system, endeavouring to keep up with the demands placed upon it. Luckily so, because, in 1994 it was found that the figures they had been dealing with were way off track. In 1989, a Committee for Primary Care was formed by the Government of Bahrain’s Ministry of Health, standardizing care through establishing rules and regulations to guide physicians treating people with diabetes.

Psychological insulin resistance: what do patients and providers fear most?

If insulin is such an effective drug, why are so many people with type 2 diabetes reluctant to take it, and sometimes really apprehensive, despite acknowledged poor outcomes on diet and oral blood glucose lowering agents? Are healthcare providers part of the problem? Is there such syndrome as Insulin Resistance (PIR)? For a better understanding of PIR, which is commonly observed as a problem in type 2 diabetes, we need to look beyond the demonstrated efficacy of insulin, and understand people’s beliefs, emotions and concerns regarding insulin treatment.

Obesity: how to respond to a huge challenge

People with obesity have been illustrated by artists throughout our modern cultural history. Who would not recognize the clearly overweight Milon Venus or obese women in paintings by Rubens? These people, however, were rather rare exceptions during times when labour required physical work and food shortage was much more common than in the present. Although we lack specific data, it is likely that the industrial revolution together with improved food hygiene were associated with an increase in the prevalence of obesity at least among those whose labour was physically less demanding.

Epidemiological studies lay the ground for Syrian diabetes campaign

As in many countries of the world, Syria, with its 16 million inhabitants, has witnessed a tremendous change in food habits and lifestyle within the last few decades. This has been reflected in the rise of metabolic diseases in general and diabetes in particular. Three studies have shown that the prevalence of diabetes in Syria is probably higher than published reports have claimed. One of the aims of the Syrian National Diabetes Programme, adopted in 1995, was to assess the national situation by carrying out epidemiological studies.

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