Homepage Round-Up: Food Insecurity Leads to Diabetes, Intelligent Testing Can Detect Early-Stage Liver Disease, and More.

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Homepage section. In this week’s edition of the round-up: read why food insecurity may lead to type 2 diabetes, if intelligent testing can detect early-stage liver disease, what’s the association between commonly prescribed drugs and dementia, and if following a plant-based diet can lead to Crohn’s disease remission.

There exists a correlation between household food insecurity (HFI) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to researchers from UConn School of Medicine, UConn School of Dental Medicine, Yale School of Public Health, Quinnipiac University, Hartford Hospital, and the Hispanic Health Council,  who published their findings in The Journal of Nutrition. In this study, researchers queried 121 low-income Latinos (85% Puerto Rican, mean age, 61, 74% female, 68% classified as food insecure) with type 2 diabetes using a six-item US Household Food Security Survey. IR, fasting blood glucose, insulin levels, stress hormones, and inflammation indicators were all measured and assessed. According to the results of the study, when juxtaposed with food-secure individuals, food-secure individuals possessed a notably higher IR, insulin, glucose, stress hormones, inflammation, and total cholesterol. According to study researcher, Dr. Angela Bermúdez-Millán, “our findings support the plausibility of links between food insecurity and poor health.”

Scientists from the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside in the UK have developed an Intelligent Liver Function test (iLFT) that can potentially detect liver disease in its early stages decades before it becomes fatal. The findings of this study were published in the Journal of Hepatology. Researchers implemented a stepped-wedged trial design to compare the outcomes of LFT outcomes among General Practices in the UK six months prior and subsequent to the introduction of the iLFT system, which produced a diagnosis and/or management plan based on diagnostic criteria, liver fibrosis estimation, and reflex testing for causes of liver disease. The researcher’s algorithm was integrated into the laboratory management system, and all outcomes were aggregated and analyzed. According to the results of the study, the use of iLFT lead to a 43% increase in the diagnosis of liver disease. Moreover, the algorithm exhibited a diagnostic accuracy rate of over 90%. “In looking at a large set of patient data from Tayside we noticed abnormal liver function tests popping up that were not fully investigated,” said Professor John Dillon, who was part of the team who developed the algorithm.

The findings of a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggest an association between exposure to several types of strong anticholinergic drugs and an augmented risk of dementia. Researchers of this nested case-control study recruited 284,343 patients (58,769 dementia patients and 225,574 matched controls, 63% women) 55 years and older (mean age, 82). They used prescription information on a total of 56 drugs with significant anticholinergic properties to calculate drug exposure. According to the results of the study, the adjusted OR for dementia climbed from 1.06 (95% CI, 1.03 to1.09) in the lowest overall anticholinergic exposure category to 1.49 (95% CI, 1.44 to 1.54) in the highest category, juxtaposed to no anticholinergic drug prescriptions in the 1 to 11 years before the index date. Lead researcher Professor Carol Coupland stated that “our study adds further evidence of the potential risks associated with strong anticholinergic drugs, particularly antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinic drugs, anti-Parkinson drugs and epilepsy drugs.”

Consuming a plant-based diet can lead to full symptom remission in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), according to the findings of a case study published in Nutrients. The study focused on a male in his mid-20s who reported to the Department of Gastroenterology in November 2014 after experiencing months of flu-like symptoms, weight loss, and diarrhea. The patient was a non-smoker with a past medical history of anal abscess but was not on any over-the-counter medications. Following a diagnosis of CD, and two subsequent years of infliximab treatment, the patient documented the full removal of animal products and processed foods from his diet during a 40-day period of religious observation. The whole food, plant-based diet resulted in the complete eradication of all symptoms (HBI 0). As such, the patient decided to permanently switch to a plant-based eating regimen, severely reducing his processed food intake while restricting his consumption of animal products to one serving, or less, per week. After six months of maintaining a plant-based diet in conjunction with implementing fitness activities including yoga, weightlifting, and running, a follow-up colonoscopy in August 2017 revealed complete mucosal healing and no discernible evidence of CD. Furthermore, one year subsequent to the follow-up colonoscopy, the patient’s infliximab therapy was discontinued based on achieving full clinical remission. As of May 2019, the patient remains free of any significant CD symptoms.