Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

 It seems that while I think of the song "Anatevka" with the phrase 
"a little bit of this and a little bit of that" 
there is a rap song with that as a title.  
I stuck with what I knew.

Looking for interesting information for myself and for the blog this week, I turned to Diabetes Forecast Magazine from the American Diabetes Association.  If you have diabetes or care for someone with diabetes, this magazine has interesting articles.  If you are interested in subscribing, the price is $10 for a two year subscription (12 issues).

Injections vs. laser treatments

But I do have a problem with one part of it.  At the beginning of the magazine there is a section called “Discovery”.  This section has many interesting short articles about “research and news in brief.”  While the articles are usually really interesting and informative, the sample sizes for the information are usually smaller than you would expect.  For example, this month there is an article on “Eyeing a Treatment” where they talk about a study that was done to test the effectiveness of injections rather than laser treatment for macular edema.  In the study they tested three different injectable medicines to see how effective they were.*  This is very interesting and great information until you realize it was only tested on 660 people.  That seems like a pretty small sample size. 

Father-daughter joggers on Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay, CA 30 June 2008
A walk on the beach before or after dinner?

Or the really interesting short article about a study about whether it is better to eat and then exercise or exercise and then eat.  The conclusion was that it was by far better to eat and then exercise for 45 minutes. Participants had a 30 percent lower blood glucose level reading compared to a 18 percent lower reading when exercise was before the meal.  Also they found that the after meal workout reduced triglycerides while the before meal exercise did not.  Great news!  The sample size on this study was 13 obese men. 

I suppose the take away from these very short articles is that you know these there is research being done to help those with diabetes and that there is some progress.  Even when there are only 13 participants in a study, the indications may be enough to get you to change how you exercise and that may not be a bad thing.  I love reading this section but then are usually thrown off by the small sample sizes.  I should take the attitude that even the limited sample size gives me more information than I had before and I should keep that in mind. 

Thanks for reading!

* The researchers found that if the patient had mild vision loss  (20/40 or better) that the three injections worked equally well.  If the vision loss was 20/50 or worse that the Eyelea injection worked the best.  The treatment regimen was 9 shots over several months.  The cost of the injections varied so it was important to see the effectiveness.  Eyelea is $1950 per injection, Lucentis is $1200 per injection and Avastin is $50 per injection.