2018 Breakthrough studies from the field of Endocrinology

M3 India Newsdesk Jun 12, 2018

Any notable progress deserves recognition as it might contribute to a breakthrough discovery in the future. Here's a snapshot of 4 recent studies that have positively impacted the field of Endocrinology.


Research studies have the potential to impact the lives of many individuals. These 4 studies can help chart improved methods of treatment and disease management for those suffering from endocrine disorders.

Folic acid improves endothelial function in diabetic children

People with diabetes mellitus have endothelial dysfunction, which may increase their risk of other diseases. Endothelial dysfunction has been associated with atherosclerosis and many chronic conditions such as coronary artery disease, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, and even cancers.

So, most physicians would agree that an agent, that improves the endothelial function is the need of the hour. Based on this fact, a study was conducted to assess the effect of folic acid administration on the indicators of endothelial function, namely, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), vWF, VCAM-1, and A/C ratio. This study included 30 children (between 8-15 years) who were administered folic acid at a dose of 5mg, daily for three months. All the parameters were evaluated before and after the administration of folic acid.

The results showed a significant decrease in VCAM-1 and A/C ratio. However, the changes in vWF and HbA1C were not clinically significant. Hence, the study concludes that folic acid had improved the endothelial function in type 1 diabetic children.

Article: Folic acid improves vascular endothelial dysfunction in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Mousa SO, Abd-Allah ST, Abdel-Hakem MA and Hares SG. Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2017

Hydroquinone lotion elevates capillary blood glucose

Researchers measured the effect of three most common ingredients of skin creams and lotion on the capillary glucose levels; the three ingredients were sweet almond oil, corticosteroid cream and hydroquinone lotion. The capillary blood glucose levels were measured before the application and 5, 30 and 60 minutes after administration of the individual ingredients.

The results showed a significant increase in blood glucose levels after applying the hydroquinone lotion at all the three time intervals.

On the contrary, the blood glucose levels remained stable at all the three time-intervals after applying sweet almond oil and corticosteroid cream. Instructing the healthcare professionals about the effects of hydroquinone lotion can certainly keep the capillary blood glucose levels in-check.

Article: Effect of Body Lotions on Capillary Blood Glucose Measurement – Interference of Hydroquinone-containing Body Lotion with Capillary Glucose Measurement. Omengue AM, Sobngwi E, Dehayem M, Balti V,Boli AM, Choukem SP et al. European Endocrinology. 2018

Subclinical and overt hypothyroidism increases the risk of reduced renal function

Subclinical hypothyroidism is usually not considered for treatment, and clinicians usually wait for the condition to progress and become clinically treatable.

A recent study, however, has found that subclinical and overt hypothyroidism can significantly reduce the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is a standard predictor of renal function.

The cross-sectional cohort study included 74,356 adults aged ≥20 years to determine the association of subclinical and clinical hypothyroidism with glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria. The mean eGFR was found to be 87.99 mL/min/1.73 m2 (in euthyroid), 83.46 mL/min/1.73 m2 (in subclinical), and 72.22 mL/min/1.73 m2 (in overt hypothyroid individuals). The proportion of proteinuria values was found to be 1.29%, 2.2%, and 2.97% in euthyroid, subclinical, and overt hypothyroid individuals respectively.

Thus, subclinical and overt hypothyroidism is associated with significant reduction in the glomerular filtration rate. The proportion of proteinuria also slightly increases in individuals with subclinical and overt hypothyroidism. Therefore, the researchers urge that  subclinical hypothyroidism should not be neglected as it poses a potential risk factor for renal impairment.

Article: Subclinical and overt hypothyroidism is associated with reduced glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria: a large cross-sectional population study. Chang Y, Chang CH, Yeh Y, Chuang L and Tu Y. Scientific Reports. 2018

GlucoCoper assess coping mechanism for diabetic stress

GlucoCoper screens diabetic distress and analyses coping mechanisms used by the individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus in dealing with their disease. It quantifies two negative coping mechanisms (resistance and blame); and four positive coping mechanisms (acceptance, optimism, planning and action). This tool was tested in 388 patients with diabetes mellitus.

The results demonstrated that the tool has a high internal validity as it showed strong positive correlation with the positive scale and each positive strategy. Similarly, a strong negative correlation was seen with the negative scale and each negative strategy. The total score showed a significant correlation with fasting and postprandial plasma glucose.

The GlucoCoper score can be used as a template to construct interventions for coping skills training in patients with diabetes.

Article: The GlucoCoper – a Tool for the Assessment of Coping Mechanisms. Kalra S, Balhara YPS, Verma K and Kalra B. European Endocrinology. 2018


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