PHARMACY

American Diabetes Association debuts new diabetes risk test

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In line with the 24th annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, the American Diabetes Association debuted its new and improved diabetes risk test.

Updated with a more sophisticated algorithm and available on Facebook, the test can be taken in less than a minute and easily shared with family, friends and loved ones, ADA said. The test requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. Their results are reported as a numerical score indicating low or high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Those at higher risk are encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider to learn more about ways to help reduce their risk or delay onset of the disease.

In addition to Facebook, people can find this free test (in English or Spanish) by visiting stopdiabetes.com or calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

"The more people who take this first step in knowing their risk, the closer we will become to stopping this disease that has reached epidemic proportions," said Geri Spollett, president- elect of health care and education at the American Diabetes Association. "The time to act is now. Taking one quick minute to learn your risk today could lead to a much healthier tomorrow."


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PHARMACY

Study suggests metformin may help prevent heart disease

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A commonly prescribed diabetes drug also may have the capability of protecting the heart, according to a Swedish study.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, in collaboration with a research group from Naples, found that when metformin was prescribed to rats in a preliminary study, the drug also had a protective effect on the heart by helping increase pumping capacity, improving energy balance, reducing the accumulation of fat and limiting the loss of heart cells through programmed cell death. This compared with other animals, which did not experience positive effects on the heart when given metformin.

The study results were published in the journal Diabetes.

"The animals in our study were treated with metformin for a whole year, so the effect seems to persist," said Jörgen Isgaard, the researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy who led the Swedish research group involved in the study. "Our results nevertheless strengthen the indication for metformin as a diabetes medicine and we hope that they are now followed up with studies on actual patients."


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COPD Foundation takes over Drive4COPD campaign leadership from BI

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A nonprofit organization focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will take over a COPD awareness campaign from the drug company that started it.

The COPD Foundation said it would lead the Drive4COPD campaign — originally started by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in 2010 to screen people for the disease with the assumption that 24 million Americans may have it but are not aware. BI will continue to provide funding for the program.

"Although we have screened more than 2 million people for risk of COPD to date, there are still many more people to reach," BI VP respiratory marketing Kathleen Dowd said. "That’s why we are pleased to announce that we are transitioning leadership of the Drive4COPD program to the COPD Foundation. This change will enable the campaign to engage broader support and collaboration with more stakeholders."


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