Tuesday December 11, 2018

LGBQ Teens at Higher Risk of Diabetes Than Heterosexual Youth, Finds Study

Teachers, parents and physicians should work together to ensure these youth have the tools they need to stay healthy

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The study found that on average, sexual minority and questioning students were less likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual students. Pixabay
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, be obese and engage in less physical activity and more sedentary activities than heterosexual youth, a Northwestern University Medicine study has found.

This is the largest study to date to report differences in levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and obesity by sex and sexual orientation among high-school-aged students, Xinhua reported.

The researchers used national data from 350,673 US high-school students, predominantly ranging between 14 and 18 years old, collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to detect disparities in diabetes risk factors by sexual orientation.

The study found that on average, sexual minority and questioning students were less likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual students. They reported approximately one less day per week of physical activity and were 38 to 53 per cent less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than heterosexual students.

The number of hours of sedentary activity among bisexual and questioning students was higher than heterosexual students, with an average of 30 minutes more per school day than heterosexual counterparts.

And lesbian, bisexual and questioning female students were 1.55 to 2.07 times more likely to be obese than heterosexual female students. Obesity and sedentary activity may be higher in this population because lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are subjected to minority stress.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Many of these youth might be taking part in sedentary activities like playing video games to escape the daily stress tied to being lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning,” said lead study author Lauren Beach, a postdoctoral research fellow at NU Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing.

“Our findings show that minority stress actually has a very broad-ranging and physical impact.”

Cultural and environmental factors may also be at play.

Also Read: Kids of mothers With Type-1 Diabetes at Risk of Being Overweight

Teachers, parents and physicians should work together to ensure these youth have the tools they need to stay healthy, Beach said.

Family support and identity affirmation: developing positive feelings and a strong attachment to a group, have been consistently linked to better health among LGBQ youth.

The study has been published in the journal Pediatric Diabetes. (IANS)

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New Drug Offers Treatment For Diabetes-Related Blindness

The researchers now plan to conduct a full-scale clinical trial, Gamble said

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new policy will see the launch of 12 programmes relevant to private schools across the emirate
New drug offers hope for diabetes-related blindness.

In a major breakthrough, Australian scientists have developed a new drug that offers treatment for people suffering from diabetic retinopathy — the main cause of blindness from diabetes.

The debilitating disease occurs when tiny blood vessels in the retina, responsible for detecting light, leak fluid or haemorrhage.

While treatment options include laser surgery or eye injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), they are not always effective or can result in side effects, highlighting the need for alternative therapeutic approaches.

The team from the Centenary Institute in Sydney developed a novel drug CD5-2, which in mouse models was found to mend the damaged blood retinal barrier and reduce vascular leakage.

“We believe CD5-2 could potentially be used as a stand-alone therapy to treat those patients who fail to respond to the anti-VEGF treatment. It may also work in conjunction with existing anti-VEGF treatments to extend the effectiveness of the treatment,” said lead author Ka Ka Ting from the Institute.

“With limited treatment options currently available, it is critical we develop alternative strategies for the treatment of this outcome of diabetes,” Ting added.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

The key process involved in diabetic retinopathy pathology is the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), which is normally impermeable. Its integrity relies on how well capillary endothelial cells are bound together by tight junctions. If the junctions are loose or damaged, the blood vessels can leak.

In the study, reported in the journal Diabetologia, CD5-2 was found to have therapeutic potential for individuals with vascular-leak-associated retinal diseases based on its ease of delivery and its ability to reverse vascular dysfunction as well as inflammatory aspects in animal models of retinopathy.

Previous studies have shown that CD5-2 can have positive effects on the growth of blood vessels.

Also Read- Facebook Invests $1 mn To Boost Computer Science Education

“This drug has shown great promise for the treatment of several major health problems, in the eye and in the brain,” said Professor Jenny Gamble, head of Centenary’s Vascular Biology Programme.

The researchers now plan to conduct a full-scale clinical trial, Gamble said. (IANS)