|NOVEMBER NEWS 2000|
| SHEDDING EVEN A FEW POUNDS CAN REDUCE DIABETES RISK|
Overweight adults who lose just two to three pounds per year can reduce
their diabetes risk by 33%.
A study of nearly 2,000 overweight, non-diabetic adults ages 25 to 74
showed that people who were already at high risk for diabetes could reduce
their risk by losing weight. The study defined overweight based on the
calculation of height and weight referred to as body mass index (BMI), as
determined by the United States National Health Objectives from Healthy
The study noted participants' weight at the beginning of the study and
again about 10 years later. Any development of diabetes was noted by
questioning the subjects or reviewing hospital discharge records or death
The study revealed that losing just two pounds per year for 10 years could
reduce diabetes risk by one-third. Conversely, the opposite risk occurred
for people who gained weight during the same period. Gaining just two
pounds per year over 10 years was associated with a 49% increased risk of
getting diabetes in the future, compared to other overweight people who
maintained their weight over the 10-year period.
The study appeared in the August 2000 Journal of Epidemiology and Community
HEARTBURN INCIDENCE IS ON THE RISE
At least 50 million people experience heartburn during the night, most to a
degree that affects their sleep, according to a recent study.
A Gallup survey of 1,000 heartburn sufferers revealed 65% of respondents
experience both daytime and nighttime heartburn. Seventy-five percent of
the nighttime heartburn sufferers report they have trouble falling asleep
or staying asleep because of symptoms.
About seven in 10 patients surveyed said they take some kind of medication
for their heartburn. But of those taking medication to control their
nighttime symptoms, 45% report that current remedies don't relieve all
symptoms and more than half agree they would try anything new to relieve
heartburn at night.
This survey was commissioned by the American Gastroenterological
FAT AFFECTS WOMEN'S CALCIUM ABSORPTION
A woman's lifestyle may affect how her body absorbs calcium.
Researchers at Columbia University in New York City compared calcium
absorption rates in 142 premenopausal and perimenopausal women ages 45 to
53. Data was collected about the women's calcium supplement use, alcohol
and caffeine consumption, diet, cigarette use, physical activity level, and
constipation frequency. Blood samples were also taken to measure levels of
calcium, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone. In addition, half of the women
in the study were on low-fat diets as part of a larger clinical trial about
risk factors for heart disease.
The study's results showed that women who ate more fat had higher calcium
absorption rates than women on low-fat diets. Researchers propose that fat
slows down calcium's transit time through the intestines, increasing the
opportunity for absorption.
This study was published in the Aug. 1, 2000 issue of American Journal of
40% OF AMERICANS SKIMP ON VITAMIN B12
An estimated 40% of Americans have a marginal vitamin B12 deficiency.
The ongoing Framingham Offspring Study of 3,000 men and women found 39% of
subjects had plasma B12 levels in the "low normal" range. While this range,
below 258 picomoles per liter, was above the currently accepted deficiency
level by a few marks, some people exhibited symptoms, said study leader
Katherine Tucker, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human
Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
The study focused on subjects ages 29 to 83, selected because previous
studies focused on the elderly. The study revealed the youngest group (ages
26 to 49) had about the same B12 status as the oldest group (65 and older).
There was a high prevalence of low B12 even among the youngest group,
according to researchers.
Nearly 9% of the study population fell below the current deficiency level.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA's chief scientific
agency, funded this research.