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Filtering the diabetes noise

20 Mar, 13 | by Dr Dean Jenkins

I’ve always been interested in how to keep up to date. Staying abreast of developments in a specialty is an important aspect of the role of a physician. You can share this knowledge with others. I came across these three papers today and I’ll explain how in a moment.

“Soft drink consumption is significantly linked to overweight, obesity, and diabetes worldwide, including in low- and middle-income countries.”

Basu S, McKee M, Galea G, Stuckler D. Relationship of Soft Drink Consumption to Global Overweight, Obesity, and Diabetes: A Cross-National Analysis of 75 Countries. Am J Public Health 2013 Mar;

“Low self-rated health was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The association could be only partly explained by other health-related variables, of which obesity was the strongest.”

Wennberg P, Rolandsson O, Van der A DL, Spijkerman AMW, Kaaks R, Boeing H, Feller S, Bergmann MM, Langenberg C, Sharp SJ, Forouhi N, Riboli E, Wareham N. Self-rated health and type 2 diabetes risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-InterAct study: a case-cohort study. BMJ Open 2013;3(3)

“long-term BPA exposure [a compound in plastic bottles] at a dose three times higher than the tolerable daily intake of 50 µg/kg, appeared to accelerate spontaneous insulitis and diabetes development in NOD mice.”

Bodin J, Bølling AK, Samuelsen M, Becher R, Løvik M, Nygaard UC. Long-term bisphenol A exposure accelerates insulitis development in diabetes-prone NOD mice. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2013 Mar;

If I were presented with these papers as someone with a keen interest in the clinical care of diabetes then I think I’d find them rather interesting. Apart from the plastic bottles and NOD mice – which I know less about – the papers would seem to shape my understanding of the causes of diabetes. The first paper would raise my awareness of the importance of soft drinks (which has been in the news recently as well so patients might visit with questions). The second would highlight the psychological factors behind the risks for Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.

So, where did they come from?

From the library? No.

From a news agency on a website or email spam? No.

A PubMed search and crawl? No.

From my mates on Twitter? Not exactly.

From collecting all 40,000 tweets in the past 48 hours mentioning ‘diabetes’ and analysing them using various algorithms. Well yes.

Is this another way of filtering the diabetes noise? By tapping into the collaborative work of others. I think we’ll see more of it … perhaps, in the 21st Century, we already do.

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