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Diabetes growing as health problem



Published: Fri, May 25, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Diabetes growing as health problem

Males with abdominal girth of more than 40 inches and women with a girth of more than 35 inches are more prone to have increased insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Dr. Suman K. Mishr of Youngstown, an endocrinologist and clinical assistant professor at Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine, said Type 2 Diabetes is increasing because adults and children are consuming high fat foods and drinking soft drinks with sugar and are not getting enough exercise. He said adults and children should take no more than 30 percent of their calories from fat to reduce insulin resistance.

How diverse are we? Study casts doubt

New research is raising doubts on long-held assumptions about the diversity of life on Earth.

Scientists have long believed that the diversity of life on the planet -- biodiversity -- increased dramatically over the last 250 million years. But it turns out that assumption was based primarily on the work of one researcher -- Jack Sepkoski, who compiled an encyclopedic database of marine life found in fossil remains.

Now, however, a team of 25 U.S. and German researchers led by scientists at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Harvard University have created a new, more comprehensive database. And in an analysis of that database in the May 22 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers conclude that diversity has not changed much at all.

In an article accompanying the analysis, Mark Newman of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico said that while the new database might "have far-reaching effects," the findings "are by no means final, and it is too early to draw any firm conclusions from the data."

Alzheimer's drugcomes from daffodils

A new drug intended to help slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease will become available soon.

The drug, Reminyl, is known chemically as galantamine and is extracted from the bulbs of daffodils. Clinical trials with about 2,600 patients demonstrated that the drug can slow memory decline and help patients organize their thinking.

Galantamine's effects on certain brain receptors and chemistry were first noted in lab work at the University of Maryland and the Johannes-Guttenburg University in Germany.

"This drug will undoubtedly help to increase the quality of life for Alzheimer's patients and their families," said Dr. Edson Albuquerque of the University of Maryland, whose research led to the drug's development.

Reminyl, manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutica, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and also has been approved for use in 21 other countries.

Walking right may depend on right shoe

Choosing well-fitting walking shoes can be confusing, not to mention expensive. To help you know what to look for, the American Council on Exercise has assembled a guide.

Tips include shopping for shoes at the end of a day when feet are somewhat swollen -- feet can grow by half a shoe size during the course of a day.

See www.acefitness.org/fitfacts and scroll down to "Sneaker Savvy" or call (800) 825-3636 to have the information sent to you.

The American Volkssport Association has chapters across the country that organize walks for people of all ages. To find groups or events near you, call (800) 830-9255 or visit the group's Web site, www.ava.org.




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