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Study shows game-changing obesity drug more than halves risk of type 2 diabetes – EurekAlert

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**Note this is an early release from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden (19-23 Sept). Please credit the meeting if using this story**
 

The risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is more than halved by weekly injections of new obesity drug semaglutide, according to new research being presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm, Sweden (19-23 Sept).

Semaglutide was recently approved in the US as an obesity treatment1 and has been provisionally approved to treat obesity in England.2

“Semaglutide appears to be the most effective medication to date for treating obesity and is beginning to close the gap with the amount of weight loss following bariatric surgery,” says Dr W. Timothy Garvey, of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA, who led the research.

“Its approval was based on clinical trial results showing that it reduces weight by over 15% on average, when used together with a healthy lifestyle programme.

“This amount of weight loss is sufficient to treat or prevent a broad array of obesity complications that impair health and quality of life and is a game changer in obesity medicine.”

Obesity is known to increase the risk of T2D at least six-fold and Dr Garvey and colleagues were interested in whether semaglutide could reduce this risk.

To learn more, they carried out a new analysis of the data from two trials of semaglutide.

In STEP1, participants (1,961) with overweight or obesity received an injection of 2.4mg of semaglutide or a placebo weekly, for 68 weeks. 

STEP4 involved 803 participants with overweight or obesity. All received weekly injections of 2.4mg semaglutide for 20 weeks.  They then either remained on semaglutide or were switched to placebo for the next 48 weeks.

Participants in both trials received advice on diet and exercise.

The researchers used Cardiometabolic Disease Staging (CMDS) to predict the participants’ risk of developing T2D in the next 10 years.

CDMS has been previously shown be a highly accurate measure of T2D risk and is calculated using a formula which factors in a patient’s sex, age, race, BMI and blood pressure, as well as blood glucose, HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

In the STEP1 participants receiving semaglutide, 10-year risk scores for T2D decreased by 61% (from 18.2% at week 0 to 7.1% at week 68). 

This compares to a 13% reduction in risk score for those given the placebo (17.8% at week 0 to 15.6% at week 68).

Risk scores mirrored weight loss, which was 17%, on average, with semaglutide vs 3% with placebo.

At the start of the trial, risk scores were higher in the participants with pre-diabetes than in those with normal blood sugar levelsHowever, semaglutide reduced the risk by a similar amount in both groups.

In the STEP 4 participants, the largest decreases in risk scores were seen in the first 20 weeks (from 20.6% at week 0 to 11.4% at week 20).  In those who continued receiving semaglutide, the risk score decreased further to 7.7% but, in those who were switched to placebo, it rose to 15.4%.

This indicates that sustained treatment with semaglutide is needed to maintain the reduction in T2D risk

Dr Garvey says: “Semaglutide reduces the future risk of diabetes by over 60% in patients with obesity – this figure is similar whether a patient has prediabetes or normal blood sugar levels. 

“Sustained treated is required to maintain the benefit.

“Given the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, semaglutide could be used effectively to reduce the burden of these chronic diseases.”

To arrange an interview, please email the study’s author:

Dr W. Timothy Garvey, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, USA. E) garveyt@uab.edu

Alternative contact: Tony Kirby in the EASD Media Centre. T) +44 7834 385827 E) tony@tonykirby.com

Notes to editors:

References

1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-drug-treatment-chronic-weight-management-first-2014

2. https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-recommends-new-drug-for-people-living-with-obesity

Dr Garvey has served as a site principal investigator for multi-centred clinical trials funded by Novo Nordisk. He’s also received financial compensation from Novo Nordisk for serving on advisory boards.

This press release is based on abstract 562 at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). The material has been peer reviewed by the congress selection committee. There is no full paper at this stage. 


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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Health unit hosting pop-up COVID vaccine clinics – BradfordToday

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NEWS RELEASE
SIMCOE MUSKOKA DISTRICT HEALTH UNIT
***********************
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is continuing to offer one-day pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics at locations throughout Simcoe Muskoka, with upcoming clinics taking place from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. Walk-ins for individuals aged 5 years and older will be available, including the bivalent booster dose for people 18 years of age and older, as capacity allows as follows:

Monday, Sept. 26

  • Clinic location:  POP-UP Clinic – Stayner Arena and Community Centre, 269 Regina St. Stayner
    Time: 1 – 6 p.m.
  • Clinic location:  POP-UP Clinic – Chappell Farms, 617 Penetanguishene Rd., Barrie
    Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept 27

  • Clinic location:  POP-UP Clinic – South Innisfil Community Centre, 1354 Killarney Beach Rd, Innisfil
    Time: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept 28

  • Clinic location:  POP-UP Clinic – Huntsville Trinity United Church, 33 Main St. E., Huntsville
    Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 29

  • Clinic location:  POP-UP Clinic – Orillia Common Roof – Boardroom, 169 Front St. S., Orillia
    Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

GO-VAXX bus and mobile clinics continue to operate on an appointment only basis. Appointments for the GO-VAXX clinics may also be booked up to four days prior to the clinic through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. 

The health unit continues to offer COVID-19 vaccinations on an appointment only basis to individuals aged six months and older at the Georgian Mall, 509 Bayfield St. (upper level) in Barrie: 

  • Wednesday: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Appointments are also available at the health unit office immunization clinic locations in Midland, Orillia, Cookstown, Collingwood, Huntsville and Gravenhurst and can be booked through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

In addition, the RVH COVID-19 Immunization Clinic at 29 Sperling Dr. in Barrie continues to offer booked appointments and walk-ins from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments may also be booked with the Couchiching Ontario Health Team Clinic  located in the Orillia Soldier’s Memorial Hospital Kiwanis Building – West Entrance 170 Colborne St., W.

Individuals six months of age and older may also receive the vaccine at some local pharmacies or booked appointments through some primary care providers, and Family Health Teams who are offering the vaccine as part of their regular clinical practice. Pop-up and GO-VAXX mobile clinics will continue to be scheduled throughout Simcoe and Muskoka.

Staying up to date with all COVID-19 vaccine doses you are currently eligible for remains the best defense against infection, severe illness, long term COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalization and death.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination, dose eligibility and booking an appointment, please visit www.smdhu.org/GetVaccinated.

***********************

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Advancing care for burn patients | Queen's Gazette – Queen's University

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New research finds that glutamine, previously thought to help with burn injuries, does not improve patients’ time to discharge from hospital.

Dr. Daren Heyland, Director of the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit at Queen’s University and principal investigator and sponsor of the glutamine trial.

Queen’s researcher Daren Heyland (Medicine) has spent his career studying what nutrients are best for intensive care patients who cannot eat for themselves, trying to understand if certain nutrients assist with their recovery. Patients in intensive care who cannot eat for themselves are fed artificial nutrition through a feeding tube or an intravenous catheter. For over 20 years, Dr. Heyland has been evaluating the role of glutamine, which is an amino acid that is made in the body and is found in foods like fish, eggs, and nuts.  

Worldwide, burn injuries are among the most expensive traumatic injuries to treat and 50 per cent of burn patients are treated using glutamine. Before adopting this practice more broadly, however, the medical community wanted more evidence of the efficacy of glutamine.

Seeking to understand the role of the amino acid in burn recovery, Heyland has been involved in a decade-long scientific trial involving 1,200 patients around the world with severe burns. The study was recently published in the high-impact New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), and marked the first time a clinical trial on burn patients was featured in the prestigious publication. It yielded some unexpected results – the glutamine did not appear to harm or help burn patients.

“In the past, small, single-centre trials had suggested that glutamine was beneficial in the recovery of patients with severe burns. However, our previous work with glutamine in stressed, sick patients suggested that glutamine might actually be harmful in critically ill patients with organ failure. The only way to resolve these conflicting data was to conduct a large trial evaluating glutamine in severe burns,” said Dr. Heyland.

Dr. Heyland is the Director of the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit at Queen’s University, which functioned as the coordinating centre for the trial. He also serves as the principal investigator and sponsor of the trial, partnering with over 60 hospital burn units in nearly 20 countries.

“It took us 10 years to complete the trial, including recruiting patients and securing funding,” said Dr. Heyland. “The results of this trial will hopefully cause burn units that were using glutamine to put a stop this unnecessary practice.”

The trial was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Department of Defense (DOD) in the U.S. through their competitive granting programs. About 20-30 per cent of wounded soldiers have burns, and the DOD is looking for new ways to manage burns.

Dr. Heyland’s research evaluating the use of nutrition or specific nutrients and their role in improving the recovery of critically ill patients is not over. With $1.5 million in new funding from the DOD, he is now looking at high-dose intravenous vitamin C in burn-injured patients, which may help reduce the amount of fluid burn patients require to stay alive.

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Feds lift border vaccine requirements, mandatory masks on planes and trains

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OTTAWA — Federal ministers say all COVID-19 border restrictions will be removed as of Saturday, including mandatory vaccination, testing and quarantine of international travellers, as well as the requirement for masks on planes and trains.

The cabinet order maintaining COVID-19 border measures will not be renewed when it expires on Sept. 30.

But Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is once again warning that pandemic restrictions could be reinstated if they are needed.

“We have learned over the last (two-and-a-half) years the type of measures that can work,” Duclos said Monday.

“We will therefore leave open all possible options when it comes to protecting the health and safety of Canadians.”

The changes mean foreign nationals will no longer require an approved series of vaccinations to enter the country.

In addition, Canada-bound travellers will no longer be subject to random COVID-19 tests, and unvaccinated Canadians will not need to isolate when they return to the country.

Cruise passengers will not have to do pre-board tests or prove they have been vaccinated.

And people who enter the country after Saturday will not need to monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

The five federal ministers making the announcement said the changes are informed by science and epidemiology, adding that modelling indicates the peak of the latest wave of the disease has “largely passed.”

But they did face questions about whether the move is at least partially politically motivated as the Liberals contend with the newly elected Opposition leader, Pierre Poilievre.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is still strongly recommending that people wear masks, particularly in crowded environments such as planes and trains.

“The science is clear: wearing a mask is clearly a means of personal protection that is extremely effective,” said Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief health officer.

“I hope Canadians will make an enlightened decision about this.”

Duclos said the negative attitudes of some passengers have made things very difficult for airlines and crews to enforce the mask mandate in recent months, and cited that as a factor in the decision.

“The transmission of the variants of COVID are domestic-based, for the most part, and therefore, this is what we should stress: masking is highly recommended … but it is not something that can be, in a sense, forced.”

That is a change in messaging from earlier in the summer, when the government and public health officials insisted that maintaining measures at the border was necessary to track and prevent the introduction of new variants.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said there have been 38 million entries at the border in 2022 so far, more than double the number in all of last year. “We want to keep that momentum going.”

The controversial ArriveCan app will no longer be mandatory when the order expires.

“Going forward, use of ArriveCan will be optional, allowing travellers who so choose to submit their customs declaration in advance at major airports,” Mendicino said.

So far that option is available at international airports in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but that will be expanded to include Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax and Billy Bishop airport in Toronto.

In addition, the Canada Border Services Agency is looking at adding features to ArriveCan to be able to provide information such as border wait times.

The changes do not remove the quarantine or testing requirements for people who enter Canada before Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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