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Scientists have way to control sugars that lead to diabetes, obesity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Scientists can now turn on or off the enzymes responsible for processing starchy foods into sugars in the human digestive system,


a finding they believe will allow them to better control those processes in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Bruce Hamaker, a professor of food science and director of the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research at Purdue University, said the four small intestine enzymes, called alpha-glucosidases, are responsible for generating glucose from starch digestion. Each enzyme functions differently, breaking down starches into different sugars at different rates. Someone missing one or more of those enzymes creates glucose improperly.

Influx of glucose to the blood increases insulin release from the pancreas, which allows the body to remove the sugar. When the body's tissues cannot respond well to insulin, the blood sugar is not lowered, a situation seen in type 2 diabetics. Even in non-diabetics, excess sugars not burned by the body as energy may be stored as fat, an issue for people prone to obesity.

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Kidney Grafts Function Longer in Europe than in the United States

Kidney transplants performed in Europe are considerably more successful in the long run than those performed in the United States


While the one-year survival rate is 90% in both Europe and the United States, after five years, 77% of the donor kidneys in Europe still function, while in the United States, this rate among white Americans is only 71%.

After ten years, graft survival for the two groups is 56% versus 46%, respectively. The lower survival rates compared to Europe also apply to Hispanic Americans, in whom 48% of the transplanted kidneys still function after ten years, and particularly to African Americans, whose graft survival is a mere 33%.

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"Never Events" Might Lead to "Never Treatment”

The efforts to decrease the incidence of preventable errors in medical treatment


The efforts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Federal Government to improve the quality of healthcare and decrease the incidence of preventable errors in medical treatment (known as "Never Events") should be applauded. This is a difficult and complicated but important task. The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) and other organizations share CMS's goal of promoting high quality, safe and effective care for all patients. We have met with CMS on numerous occasions to help promote these efforts and make constructive comment on the proposed rules.

Furthermore, we support a payment system that advocates quality care, including withholding payment for certain "Never Events" that should truly not occur, such as operating on the wrong limb. Every effort should be made to eliminate preventable hospital-acquired conditions. The AAHKS is concerned that if CMS includes complications that are not always reasonably preventable on the hospital-acquired condition list, this may have the unintended negative affect of restricting patient's access to and quality of care.

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