The UK and US are the only western countries where life expectancy is falling

Researchers looked at 17 high income countries to evaluate trends in national mortality.

In the UK there has been a drop of a few months in life expectancy for both men and women over the age of 65. Degenerative diseases were the main cause such as respiratory disease, circulatory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous system disease and mental disorders.

In the USA drug overdoses were responsible for the decline in life expectancy.

The study looked at mortality between 2014 and 2015. A sixty five year old in the UK at that time would have been born in 1950, after the start of the NHS.

We will need to wait to see if this trend will reverse or not.

British Medical Journal. UK life expectancy drops while other western countries improve. National Health Services. 2018 August 16.

Younger age at diagnosis predicts earlier death in type one diabetes (on standard treatment)

Researchers in Sweden have found that the earlier children are diagnosed with type one diabetes, the less their life expectancy is. Matters are worse for women than men. They think that adults diagnosed in childhood need increased input to deal with cardiovascular risk factors as they get older. Currently age of onset is ignored when it comes to stratifying risk.

Those diagnosed under the age of 10 had 4 times the hazard ratio for all cause mortality, over 7 times the risk of cardiovascular disease, 4 times the risk for non cardiovascular mortality,  over 11 times the risk of cardiovascular disease, 31 times the risk of having a myocardial infarction, over 6 times the risk for stroke, 13 times the risk of heart failure, but almost the same risk as controls for atrial fibrillation.

There is a better outlook for those diagnosed in their late twenties. The risk was almost 3 times the background rate for total mortality and the most prominent risk was again for cardiovascular mortality coming in at 6 times the background rate.

What this means is that if you are a girl diagnosed with type one under the age of ten, you may expect to live almost 18 years fewer than your classmates and if you are a boy, 14 years fewer.

My comment: More effort could also be given to youngsters on diagnosis achieving normal blood sugars by advising parents about the easiest ways to control blood sugars such as the adoption of a low carb diet and advanced insulin techniques. Although these statistics are shocking to see, it doesn’t have to be like this at all. Many diabetics have changed their life expectancy around and reverse some complications by adopting practices that improve glycaemic control and metabolic factors such as we describe on this site.

Rawshani A et al. Excess mortality and cardiovascular disease in young adults with type 1 diabetes in relation to age at onset: a nationwide, register-based cohort study. Lancet 2018;392:477-86;doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31506-X

 

Public Health Collaboration Conference 2018: Achieving your optimal blood sugar target

Videos of the lectures given at the Public Health Collaboration conference 2018 which was held in May over the royal wedding weekend have now been released on You Tube.

You can see my talk, Achieving your optimal blood sugar target, as well as others, on the link below. There are a wide variety of lifestyle topics discussed. Happy viewing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=public+health+collaboration+conference+2018

Polycystic ovary syndrome has health consequences for the whole family

Parents and siblings of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are more likely than non relatives to develop insulin resistance. The older relatives are, the more likely they are to develop type two diabetes.

Polycystic ovaries affects 4-19% of women of reproductive age. Type 2 diabetes is significantly higher among both the mothers and fathers of women with polycystic ovaries. Both are over twice as likely to be diabetic compared to matched controls.  Type two diabetes is more prevalent in the sisters and brothers of those with polycystic ovaries but was not statistically significant. Fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance were significantly higher in the mothers, fathers and sisters of women with polycystic ovaries.

My comment: Doctors tend to regard polycystic ovaries as a gynaecological condition, but this research indicates that it is a disease of insulin resistance and increased likelihood of type two diabetes in the whole family and does not just affect women, but men in the family as well. 

Yilmaz B et al. Diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance in mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fertil. Steril.2018 June 27 doi:10.1016/j.fertnsert.2018.04.024.PMID:29960703

What factors are most predictive of a heart attack?

Dr Malcolm Kendrick recently discussed a paper in which computers analysed routine clinical data from UK GP practices to identify the factors that most accurately predicted a cardiovascular event over the next ten years.  All the 378,256  people whose records were analysed were initially free of cardiovascular disease and 48 variables were identified.

The top ten things that were most likely to see you in hospital with a heart attack or stroke, in order,  were:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Prescribed oral steroids

Older age

Severe mental illness

South Asian ethnicity

Prescribed immunosuppressants

Socio-economic deprivation

Chronic Kidney Disease

 

The least predictive were LDL, Forced expiratory volume ( a measure of asthma) and AST/ALT ( a measure of liver function).  Total cholesterol was 25th.

Can machine learning improve cardiovascular risk prediction using routine clinical data? http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0174944

EC-Funded Project Researches T1 Diabetes Cure

Have you heard of the LSFM4LIFE project? This week, I received an email about European Commission funded work into a potential permanent cure for type 1 diabetes.

The base of the research is a cellular therapy, growing human pancreas organoids (mini organs) from adult stem cells. The organoid of the pancreas then produces insulin, freeing type 1s from daily insulin injections.

Currently, the project is at the research stage. It involves eight partner teams from six different countries who are working to develop tools and technologies for cell-based therapy. The partners come from academia and industry, and include Goethe University, the University of Cambridge, InSphero and Sparks and Co.

Incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing by 3 to 4 percent every year, especially among children.

You can read more about the project here: https://lsfm4life.eu/lsfm4life-in-depth/ and there’s a quick explanation of it on YouTube here.

 

 

Eatwell plate advice doesn’t reduce cardiovascular disease

UPDATED_Eatwell_guide_2016_FINAL_MAR23-01

 

Adapted from  BMJ 27 Jan 2018 from a study reported in PLOS Med

The UK Food Standards Agency uses a scoring system of their own devising to determine whether a food is “healthy” or not.  Fruit, vegetables, fibre and protein get top marks and saturated fat, sugar and salt get a fail.

When 25 thousand participants in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer study completed a seven day food diary at the start of the study, and their food choices were marked on perceived health benefits, there was no difference in the incidence of cardiovascular disease over the next 16 years.

Time to lay the Eatwell Plate advice in the bin?