Tuesday, November 22, 2005

2 Million U.S. Youths Have Prediabetes

 2 Million U.S. Youths Have Prediabetes

Condition Can Be Reversed; Left Unchecked, May Lead to Diabetes, Heart Disease

Nov. 7, 2005 -- An estimated 2 million American youths have prediabetes, the CDC and NIH report.

In prediabetes, the body doesn't handle blood sugar as well as it should, but not as poorly as in diabetesdiabetes.

Prediabetes is often a step on the path to type 2 diabetes. It also raises the risk of heart disease.

But, prediabetes may not be a one-way ticket to those problems. There could still be time to turn things around. But it takes sustained effort, and the clock is running.

Kids aren't the only ones with prediabetes. Many grown-ups have it, too.

An estimated 41 million Americans have prediabetes, nearly 21 million have diabetesnearly 21 million have diabetes, and many don't know they have those problems, the CDC reported in October.

National Numbers

The new figures are based on a national survey of 471 boys and 444 girls aged 12-19 years.

The kids represented their peers nationwide. About 16% were overweight, based on their body mass index (BMI).

The kids took a blood sugar test after fasting for at least eight hours. The test checked for impaired fasting glucose -- problems handling blood sugar after fasting.

Key Findings

Seven percent of all participants had impaired fasting glucose. That translates to about 2 million adolescents nationwide, the researchers write.

Impaired fasting glucose was more common among boys than girls. It was seen in one in 10 boys and one out of 25 girls.

Being overweight -- especially around the waist -- raised the odds. Impaired fasting glucose was seen in one in 16 overweight adolescents and one in four with large waists.

Mexican-American adolescents were more likely than whites or blacks to have impaired fasting glucose (13% of Mexican-Americans, 7% of whites, and 4% of blacks).

Further Hazards

Further Hazards

Kids with impaired fasting glucose were also more likely to have other heart risks.

They tended to have higher levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and lower levels of HDL "good" cholesterol.

They also were more likely to have higher systolic blood pressure. That's the first number in a blood pressure reading.

The survey was done in 1999-2000. More recent trends aren't covered. The researchers included the CDC's Desmond Williams, MD. The study appears in Pediatrics.

Second Study

Another study in Pediatrics raises related concerns.

It tracks metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health conditions that make diabetes and heart disease more likely.

Those traits include abdominal obesity measured by elevated waist circumference, high blood pressure, impaired fasting glucose, poor cholesterol levels, and high levels of blood fats called triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome means having three or more of those problems.

Approximately 1,200 black and white girls were followed for a decade, starting at age 9 or 10 years.

At first, only one girl of each race met the clinical criteria for metabolic syndrome. Ten years later, 20 black girls (3.5%) and 12 white girls (2.3%) had it.

The researchers included John Morrison, PhD. He works in the cardiology division of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Nip Diabetes in the Bud

Adults with prediabetes can cut their diabetes risk by making lifestyle changes, such as boosting physical activity and upgrading their eating habits.

Is that also true for kids and teens? It's likely but not yet proven, write the CDC and NIH researchers.

Prediabetes doesn't always show symptoms without a lab test. Consult a doctor to find, fix, or prevent prediabetes and metabolic syndrome in people of any age.

SOURCES: Williams, D. Pediatrics, November 2005; vol 116: pp 1122-1126. WebMD Medical News: "No End in Sight to Rapid Rise in Diabetes." WebMD Medical Reference in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic, "Diabetes: Prediabetes." Morrison, J. Pediatrics, Nov. 2005; vol 116: pp 1178-1182. WebMD Medical News: "Metabolic Syndrome Found in Many Young Kids." News release, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Associated Press.

© 2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
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Search engine use gains on e-mail as most popular Web activity

Search engine use gains on e-mail as most popular Web activity


Accounting for 63% of online activity, search engine use is gaining on e-mail's 77% as the most popular online activity, according to the latest data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. As Google adds more and more services for advertisers, search engine use among consumers has risen sharply in the past year--from 30% to 40% since June 2004. That percentage translates to about 60 million American adults using search engines on a typical day, says Pew. Google continues to be the most heavily used search engine, grabbing 89.8 million unique users, followed by Yahoo! Search, MSN Search, Ask Jeeves, and AOL Search. At 51%, 29-40 year-olds make up the biggest group of search engine users, followed by people aged 18-28 who make up 42% of searchers. Older baby boomers--those ages 51-59--are also heavy users, making up 39% of searchers.


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Monday, November 21, 2005

For 31.6 Million U.S. Adults, the Internet is the First Stop for Health Care Decisions

For 31.6 Million U.S. Adults, the Internet is the First Stop for Health Care Decisions  
Manhattan Research Reveals Five Consumer Health Market Trends in 2005

NEW YORK, NY -- November 21, 2005 -- The population of consumers using the Internet as their primary  learning channel for health information continues an upward trajectory in 2005 with 31.6 million consumers reporting the Internet as their first stop when seeking more information. This is one of five key market trends identified by Manhattan Research, with the release of its latest iteration of Cybercitizen Health(r), version 5.0 -- an advisory service in its tenth year of focusing on consumers' adoption and usage of the Internet and other related technologies for healthcare.  Learn about these and other consumer health trends in a free upcoming webinar (details below).

"The health industry is adjusting to a world where the promises of 10 years ago, at the launch of the Internet generation, are finally becoming a market reality," states Mark Bard, president of Manhattan Research.  "The intersection of broadband, consumer-driven health, community and content, has created the perfect storm for the next generation of e-health.  Consumers are in control and are increasingly seeking timely and efficient access to the information and tools that will help them manage their personal health and that of their friends and family."

Five Key Trends Identified in Cybercitizen Health v5.0 

1) Internet Ranks First for a Growing Number -- As the shift away from traditional health promotion and patient education to more targeted efforts promoting informed patient care continues to evolve, the Internet has become the "go to" source for almost 32 million U.S. adults -- representing nearly a 50% increase from just one year ago. Overall, a total market of 99 million U.S. adults is using the Internet for health information (any use in the past 12 months).

2) The "On Demand" Health Consumer Emerges and Takes Control of Content -- There is a new market segment that innovative marketers must embrace in the years ahead -- the "on demand" health consumer.  These consumers are significantly more likely than the average health consumer to engage in a wide range of interactive activities and embrace the ability to access and control health content on their terms.  They are twice as likely to watch video clips online, four times as likely to subscribe to podcasts, and almost three times more likely to read blogs online.  This segment is also twice as likely to carry a mobile digital device (PDA), listen to satellite radio, and to use a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). Although a relatively healthy population overall, the segment is actually more likely than the "average" consumer to suffer from ADHD, Acid Reflux, Allergies, Anxiety/Social Phobia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer, Migraine or Obesity. 

3) Search Engines Remain Critical Gateway to Content --  Although consumers clearly state there is a need for an improved search engine experience, the utilization of search engines for health and pharmaceutical information experienced strong growth -- with 95% of consumers looking for health information reporting any use of an engine in 2005.  While consumers continue to build strong links directly to their favorite health information sites and portals (such as WebMD and Mayo Clinic), they view search engines (such as Google and Yahoo! Search) as essential guides to the latest and most diverse health content and resources available online today.  Perhaps more telling is that they have very high expectations regarding the future capabilities of search specific to health-related information.

4) "Health Influencers" Represent the Vital Few -- The latest research reveals a relatively small group of health consumers (approximately 20 million) with a significant impact on the rest of the population – much more than their absolute numbers would indicate.  Specifically, these consumers have considerable impact on those in their "zone of influence"-- ranging from spouses, children, and elderly parents to extended family and friends.  In fact, other health consumers are very likely to seek out advice from this group of highly influential health consumers -- who are much more likely than the average consumer to be using interactive media such as the Internet in their ongoing quest for knowledge and health education.

5) Consumers Rapidly Migrate to "E" in DTC Advertising Response -- The population of consumers sourcing the online channel to learn about pharmaceutical products in response to DTC advertising has grown significantly over the past year. In fact, 2005 represents a critical point in the shifting landscape, with more than 22 million consumers actively going online in response to DTC ads they have seen through television and other traditional media channels. Looking at the crossover between key market trends, the "on demand" health consumer segment (mentioned in the second trend above) is not only significantly more likely to seek additional information online in response to advertisements but also to request a prescription drug from their personal physician.

The Cybercitizen Health(r) v5.0 strategic research and advisory service, based on a telephone study conducted with a random sample of 4,031 U.S. adults, explores topics such as the Internet, email communication with physicians, DTC advertising trends, health ecommerce, health plans and providers, use of pharmaceutical information online and health information seeking methods. In addition to providing insight regarding overall market trends, the data can be analyzed by over 30 therapeutic segments. 

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Media deals push blogs into the mainstream

Media deals push blogs into the mainstream

By Aline van Duyn in New York

Financial Times

Updated: 2:40 a.m. ET Nov. 19, 2005


News junkies have been doing it for years. As well as scouring news websites – ranging from the BBC to CNN to Yahoo– blogs covering specific sectors or with comments from respected commentators are a regular part of their news diet.

Now, blogs are becoming available to a larger audience, thanks to a growing number of deals between bloggers and the mainstream media, of which many bloggers have traditionally been dismissive.

Andrew Sullivan, whose commentary on the Daily Dish has become required reading for many in the last five years, announced this week he would begin posting his blog on Time.com.

A day later Yahoo said it was expanding its blog content, adding items from Gawker Media's blog empire. Last month, AOL spent a reported $25m to buy Weblogs, which owns about 85 blogs covering parenting, travel and other activities.

"The things that have changed are all on the backend," said Jason Calacanis, chief executive of Weblogs.

"With AOL's support we can hire more bloggers, promote the blogs, sell more advertising and ultimately pay bloggers more money. That's the basic concept behind the deals: scaling the business."

The tabular content relating to this article is not available to view. Apologies in advance for the inconvenience caused.Blogs, which are distributed on the internet and bypass the editing and distribution controls associated with traditional media, have grown on the back of strong appetite for alternative views. The number of blogs is estimated to be in the tens of millions, but many of these are in the form of teenagers' personal diaries which have limited appeal for a broader audience.

The subset of blogs that media and internet content companies are eyeing are those that have developed some credibility, either in the quality of their advice and tips or the quality of their views and analysis.

"These blogs offer a different and valuable perspective and are increasingly regarded as important to get a full picture of what is going on," said Neal Goldman, chief executive of Inform, which searches and sorts news and blog content side by side. "There is a real desire from consumers to integrate the news and blogs."

Already, blogs have started to attract advertising on the back of their growing audiences. Blog advertising grew strongly during last year's US presidential election, when blogs became an important campaigning tool. Since then, blog campaigns have become a part of many corporate ad campaigns, including most recently from Budget and Nokia.

Henry Copeland, director of Blogads.com, said blog advertising volumes had increased by 60 per cent in the past six months alone. The rapid growth in internet advertising and the resultant lack of inventory on the most popular websites, is an important factor behind recent deals. An issue for bloggers is how to preserve their identity as being different to the "mainstream media" they are doing deals with. So far, the deals have been centred around the use of content and sharing revenues from advertising.

According to Mr Calacanis, readers of his blogs have not responded to the AOL deal because they have not noticed – it has not changed anything.

"The blogosphere is real, and it can be really harsh on fakes . so, if you're a phoney you're going to get your bell rung," he says.

Copyright The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved.

© 2005 MSNBC.com

URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10102041/



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Mobile 'Lost' stories will dial in Verizon

Mobile 'Lost' stories will dial in Verizon

By Cynthia LittletonMon Nov 21, 4:13 AM ET

The Walt Disney Co. is venturing into more experimental territory with ABC's hit drama "Lost," sealing a deal with Verizon for a series of shortform "Lost" episodes revolving around some of the other poor souls who happened to be on Oceanic Flight 815.

"Lost Video Diaries," a series of 22 two-minute episodes, produced by the company's home video arm Buena Vista Home Entertainment, will premiere exclusively on the Verizon Wireless V Cast broadband service in January.

The episodes will be produced under the supervision of "Lost" co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and series executive producer Carlton Cuse. "Lost" scribes Dawn Kelly and Matt Ragghianti are penning the two-minute installments.

At least six of the mini-"Lost" episodes also will be included as extras on the "Lost" Season 2 DVD boxed set next year. Verizon plans to program the episodes on a once-a-week basis just as the series airs in primetime.

"Viewers always ask us, 'What's going on with the people in the background? Don't they have stories too?"' Lindelof said in announcing the deal. "Well, the answer is yes. ... And now we've got the perfect format in which to tell those stories."

Verizon charges a $15 monthly fee for subscriptions to its V Cast service, which bowed in February. V Cast has offered some premium content that requires an additional fee for viewing, but it has not yet been determined whether an additional fee will be levied on "Lost Video Diaries," according to Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson.

Disney's deal with Verizon comes on the heels of a similar venture at 20th Century Fox TV to produce original shortform content stemming from Fox's hit drama "24" for mobile phone platforms.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


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