Friday April 19, 2019

Marijuana users may develop prediabetes: Study

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New York:  Everything that is green is not healthy! Marijuana users are more likely to have prediabetes – the state of poor blood sugar control that can progress to Type-2 diabetes – than those who have never used the drug, new research has found.

The findings suggest that marijuana use may adversely affect a person’s metabolic health in the long term.

“Marijuana use was associated with the development and prevalence of prediabetes,” said the study led by Mike Bancks from University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, US.

To determine marijuana use and presence of prediabetes and diabetes, the researchers used data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study that began in 1985-1986 with over 5,000 individuals aged 18-30 years.

The participants are now in their 30th year of observation.

The percentage of individuals who self-reported current use of marijuana declined over follow-up, from 28 percent in 1985-1986 to 12 percent in 2010-2011.

After adjustment for behavioural/lifestyle and physiological characteristics, there was a 65 percent increased odds of currently having prediabetes in individuals who reported current use of marijuana than those who reported never using marijuana.

“It is unclear how marijuana use could place an individual at increased risk for prediabetes yet not diabetes,” the authors said.

But they suggest that it could be because individuals excluded from the study generally had higher levels of marijuana use and greater potential for development of diabetes.

Another explanation could be that marijuana may have a greater effect on blood sugar control in the prediabetic range than for full blown Type-2 diabetes, when other traditional diabetes risk factor levels are exceedingly less favourable, the study said.

The research was published in the journal Diabetologia.

With inputs from IANS

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Iran Denounces US as Actual “Head of Global Terrorism”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression

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iran, terrorism
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony marking "National Day of Nuclear Technology," in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Steve Herman contributed to this report from the White House; Carla Babb – from the Pentagon.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the United States Tuesday as the actual “head of global terrorism,” one day after the U.S. designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization.

“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” President Donald Trump declared in a statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”

The U.S. action, which takes effect next week and includes the IRGC’s elite secretive Quds Force, means it will be a federal crime to provide any type of support to the IRGC.

iran, terrorism
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting with a group of Revolutionary Guards and their families, in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Rouhani said the U.S. designation would only bolster the reputation of the Revolutionary Guards and promote harmony among Iranians.

“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region,” Rouhani said. “America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of guards Tuesday, describing the U.S. action as a “vicious move” that “will bear no fruit.” After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the U.S. decision as the “climax of stupidity and ignorance.” Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keivan Khosravi warned without elaborating that “any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behavior by a terrorist group.”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression.

iran, terrorism
After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.” VOA

“We oppose power politics and bullying by any countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”

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U.S. officials, in comments to reporters, are also referring to the IRGC as a “death cult” that, they say, is the true face of Iranian foreign policy.

Pompeo declined to say, when asked by a reporter, whether the terrorist designation means that the U.S. military will target IRGC leaders the same way it does those of the Islamic State group. Iran responded Monday to the U.S. action by putting U.S. military forces on its list of terror groups. (VOA)