Coronary artery calcification among endurance athletes – do we need to worry?

5th January 2020, Dr Chee L Khoo

Athletes and highly active people are not immune to coronary artery disease. There are some studies which suggest that despite the high levels of physical activity, these individuals have a higher prevalence of coronary artery calcification (CAC) compared with controls with low atherosclerotic risks (1,2). Is this increased level of CAC associated with increased mortality?…

Pet ownership and cardiovascular mortality – is it the ownership or the walking?

4th January 2020, Dr Chee L Khoo

Anecdotal evidence suggests that having a pet reduces cardiovascular mortality. Does it? You can imagine that trying to conduct a randomised control trial can be difficult. One has to consider the pre-existing risks profile of the pet owner, physical activity pre and post pet ownership, marital status of the owner and whether pet ownership benefits men or women more.…

Heart failure in type 2 diabetes – who is most at risk?

12th December 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and heart failure (HF) are common diseases with significant morbidity and mortality. Two out of three patients with T2D have evidence of ventricular dysfunction within 5 years of diabetes diagnosis (1). Data from both observational studies and clinical trial cohorts suggest that the development of HF in patients with T2DM is associated with anywhere from a 4- to 10-fold increase in mortality risk (2,3).…

SGLT2 inhibitors and hospitalisation for heart failure – finally a real trial!

12th December 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

EMPA-REG, CANVAS, DECLARE-TIMI 58 and VERTIS-CV are cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOTs) originally designed to demonstrate non-inferiority of SGLT2 inhibitors versus placebo on major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). These clinical trials involving a total of > 36,000 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) followed for 2–5 years. Patients treated with a SGLT2 inhibitor experienced a 25–35% lower risk of hospitalisation for heart failure (HHF).

Vitamin D and Omega 3 Oils – do they have a role in diabetic kidney disease?

24th November 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

It’s not often that we report on trials with negative results but this trial attracted my attention because of many issues it raised when the top-line results were announced in the Journal of American Medical Association a fortnight ago. The conclusion states “supplementation with vitamin D3 or omega-3 fatty acids, compared with placebo, resulted in no significant difference in change in eGFR at 5 years.

Oral therapy in type 2 diabetes – navigating the PBS maze

14th November 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Oral therapy for T2D – navigating the PBS maze

During our recent GP Diabetes Injectable Masterclass Workshop, I noted that there was a lot of uncertainty and confusion in relation to what oral agents can be combined under the PBS. This uncertainty and confusion can only lead to hesitation to escalate treatment in patients whose glycaemic control is suboptimal.…

The complexity of managing T2D – a GP’s perspective

13th November 2019, Drs Chee Khoo & Sobhy Khalil

We have a contribution from our GP colleague this week. Dr Sobhy Hakeem KHALIL who thoroughly studied the ADA/EASD Management of Hyperglycaemia In Type 2 Diabetes, 2018 Consensus Report and provided his take on the guidelines. I have added my comments to his take (in blue):

  1. They emphasised the importance of life style changes such as weight reduction, physical activities (aerobic and high resistance activities) and smoking cessation.

Second generation basal insulins – are they truly better insulins?

27th October 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

In medicine, newer is usually better although sometimes, we can be sceptical whether “newer” means a sneaky way to extend patents. The newer, second generation insulins, Toujeo® (insulin glargine U300 or GLA-300)  and Degludec® are truly better insulins. Diabetes Therapy recently published a practical guide to the use of these second generation insulins (1).…

Does bariatric surgery reduce major adverse cardiovascular events?

27th October 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

We often hear about cardiovascular outcomes trials (COVT) involving the new anti-diabetic agents – the SGLT2 inhibitors, the DPP4 inhibitors and the GLP1-RAs. The CVOTs were meant to ensure that the agents do not have significant major adverse cardiovascular outcomes (MACE) when we prescribed them for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). All make sense as we need to make sure that post Phase 2 trials when these agents are used in hundreds of thousands of patients, they don’t cause more harm that good.…

Nut consumption and weight change – is it positive or negative?

11th October 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

We all know that weight management is not as simple as a calories in calories out equation. Increasing nut consumption in particular, in theory, can cause weight gain because of nuts’ energy density but it doesn’t always translate to weight gain. In fact, a recent study showed the opposite – increased nut consumption actually is associated with reduced long term weight gain.…

Pancreatic cancer and T2D – how are they related?

6th October 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

Last month we looked at the state of play with screening for the deadly disease, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We saw how it may not be useful to screen the general population with the technology that we have but there are select higher risk groups where screening may be useful. Long standing type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a modest risk factor for PDAC.…