The Handoff: Your Week in Endocrinology – 11/18/16

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of endocrinology and general medicine news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

  • Amid growing concerns about the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), present in pesticides and other commonly used products, the Endocrine Society recently expressed “disappointment” with the European Commission’s revised proposal on defining and identifying EDCs noting that the narrow criteria place an “unrealistically high burden of proof” on scientists.
  • With December around the corner, a new study suggesting that women whose babies are conceived in winter may have a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes could cause concern. The researchers note, however, that their findings demonstrate an association, not causation, and that the results need to be confirmed in future studies.
  • Proton pump inhibitors, which are commonly used to treat heartburn, may increase risk for ischemic stroke, according to data presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.
  • Another study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016 indicates that yo-yo dieting may pose serious heart risks for older women.
  • As of January 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will expand the Diabetes Prevention Program model test to eligible Medicare beneficiaries, representing the “first time a prevention model from the CMS Innovation Center will be adopted under the CMS authority to expand successful payment and service delivery models to reach all eligible beneficiaries.”
  • Virtual reality will undoubtedly affect how people learn and experience the world, but can it replace the use of cadavers in medical training? Some say it’s no substitute for studying actual human anatomy.
  • November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, MACP, director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is encouraging people with diabetes, as well as those who care for them, to develop a support system and spread understanding of the disease.  
  • Medication adherence is a significant barrier to effective treatment for physicians and patients, including those with diabetes. The development of a new drug capsule that releases medication for up to 2 weeks, however, may be a game-changer for those who have trouble sticking to their treatment plan.