April 04, 2014

Welcome to UF Health Diabetes Insights, an e-newsletter committed to bringing you updates in diabetes clinical care, education, advocacy, and research from around the University of Florida. 

Improving the Healthcare Transition in Diabetes

UF Health researchers found more planning and resources need to be in place in order to help young diabetes patients feel ready to navigate through the complex adult health care system.

Read online.

At a Glance: Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) and Complications

UF Health Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology Divisions are committed to unlocking the causes of T2DM, identifying risk factors, and exploring novel ways to treat, educate, and ultimately prevent the disease.  

Obesity and T2DM continue to be a major public health problem, but lifestyle intervention and proper pharmacological therapy can greatly assist a large number of patients. Dr. Kenneth Cusi, Chief of the UF Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, has found in screening studies that most obese patients with T2DM have a fatty liver (as many as four out of five). This poses considerable long-term health risks: dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and liver damage. He discovered in a pilot study that pioglitazone (Actos), a drug used in the treatment of T2DM, may reverse a fatty liver in patients with prediabetes or T2DM (Belfort et al, NEJM 2006). More recently, Dr. Cusi’s lab completed the first long-term study (presented at the June 2013 American Diabetes Association annual meeting) that has confirmed and extended the original findings about the efficacy of pioglitazone in obese patients with T2DM and fatty liver (Cusi et al, Diabetes, suppl 1, 2013). 

To learn more about Type 2 Diabetes Research at UF Health, click here

SGLT-2 Inhibitors and other medications

SGLT-2 Inhibitors and other medications

Alternative medications may one day be used to treat new incidences of T2DM while also reducing the dependence on traditional ones. With more clinical investigations underway, the development of novel drugs aims to fill a needed gap in patient care.

Read online.

UF launches healthy lifestyle program for kids in Columbia County

UF launches healthy lifestyle program in Columbia County

The 'Healthy Kids Program' is  a joint effort between researchers at UF Health, UF/IFAS Extension and the UF/IFAS Columbia County Extension Service designed to help parents and children ages 3 to 7 who are at the higher end of the growth chart improve diet and increase physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles. For more information, click here or call 1-866-673-9623.

Click here for tips offered by UF/IFAS Extension to help your child choose healthy snack options.  

Your Mobile Minute:

Did you know there are currently more than 1,100 iOS and Android apps listed on the Apple App Store and Google Play that are specifically designed for diabetics and healthcare professionals to treat diabetes? A new analysis shows that by 2018, 7.8 percent of the world's diabetes population, or 24 million people, will own a smartphone or tablet and use apps to help better manage their condition. 

What We're Following: (Click on left-hand images to Read More.)

Congress Approves One-Year Renewal of SDP

Special Diabetes Program funding is essential to T1D research and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, which provides community-based programs helping educate, prevent and treat diabetes in American Indian and Alaskan Native areas.

Childhood virus may increase type 1 diabetes risk

Childhood virus may increase type 1 diabetes risk

A common childhood ailment may accelerate type 1 diabetes onset, according to a new study by The University of Melbourne. Researchers aim to develop preventative strategies for children who are at risk for this disease. 

New diabetes prevention website launched in Asia

New diabetes prevention website launched in Asia

A new diabetes prevention website - the Asian Diabetes Prevention Initiative - attempts to put a stop to the growing epidemic on the world's most populous continent by offering authoritative, science-based information about type 2 diabetes. 

Campus Profile: 
Producing Mentors

Did you know that students who work with faculty on scholarly projects are more likely to increase their GPAs, earn their baccalaureate degrees, and succeed in their post-graduation jobs?

Over a dozen UF and UF Health faculty currently serve as Faculty Mentors for talented, motivated, and responsible undergraduate students working on diabetes-focused research projects throughout campus. You can now advertise a project that you would like undergraduate help on by clicking here.

The Center for Undergraduate Research supports faculty efforts to serve as a research mentor and provides assistance in proposal writing when undergraduate research is part of the project.  CUR will also provide administrative support for REU projects.  To learn more about including undergraduate students in your research, please email adonnnelly@aa.ufl.edu.

Diabetes Faculty Profile

John O. Spengler, JD, PhD

Dr. Spengler is a Professor of Sports and Physical Activity in the College of Health and Human Performance.  He is also Director of the UF Sport Policy & Research Collaborative (SPARC); a program designed to produce relevant and timely research that addresses sports as a facilitator of the physical, social, and emotional health of individuals, and the economic health of communities.

Very recently, Dr. Spengler presented at the Aspen Institute Project Play Roundtable in Washington DC where he and the UF SPARC Team were recognized for important contributions made to "Project Play" including a research briefing on sport and participation rates among kids from underserved populations: Read online

In addition to research and outreach activities, Spengler is an enthusiastic teacher, having received two University of Florida teaching awards, as well as national teaching recognition.  He is the author of two book chapters and four college textbooks used in classrooms across the country. See full bio online

The Faces of Diabetes

There are many people with diabetes who have become famous, and they all have something in common -- they have not let their condition get in the way of success. Remember, don't let diabetes stop you from pursuing your ambitions! Here is our profile for this week: 

Gary Hall Jr.  

A swimming champion, Gary Hall Jr. competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games.  Perseverance and dedication led him to several individual gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 games, and his team to a total of 2 silver medals and two team relay gold medals at the Sydney Olympic games. In 1999, Hall was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; 9 years after the start of his swimming debut. In November 2008, he announced his retirement  to turn his focus on helping those with diabetes lead long, productive lives. Hall's advice and inspiration to the millions of people living with diabetes is, "Learn all you can about how to manage diabetes and check your blood sugar level often. Testing three or four times a day may seem like a nuisance, but it's nothing compared to losing your sight, your feet, or the use of your kidneys."

Just one more thing...

Making summer plans? Join Gator-alum and NBA player Corey Brewer for a fun filled three days of drill stations, 5-on-5 games, lectures, contests and education sessions! Each camper will receive lunch, a t-shirt, pictures with Corey, awards, camp certificate and instruction from some of the top coaches in the region. Boys and Girls ages 9-18 are invited to attend. Click on any of the links below to register or get more information.