Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA.
This month US Medicine focuses on the widespread medical problem that is diabetes. Affecting over 17 million Americans, or 6.2% of the population, almost 6 million of this population does not even know they have the disease, according to The Obesity Society at www.obesity.org. Diabetes is typically classified as either Type 1 or Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease with clear genetic links that usually is first manifested in the young. However, over 90% of the cases are classified as Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes also has an associated genetic predisposition but is more closely linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle in adults.
Craig Hanis, PhD, a professor at the Human Genetics Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston states, “People sometimes have the misconception that if we say something is genetic, then they can’t do anything about preventing diabetes and its complications.”
Research suggests this is not the case since lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes in 60% of high risk patients, according to Hanis. Certainly lifestyle modification is not the end of the story, as obesity is no guarantee of Type 2 diabetes and lean people do develop the disease. read more
IT Project Failures Spur Continued Reform in VA WASHINGTON, DC—Concerned about several high-profile, high-cost IT project failures over the last several years, legislators called VA officials to Capital Hill last month to provide reassurance that the agency has learned from its past mistakes. read more
Task Force Recommends OSD-Level Suicide Prevention Policy Office WASHINGTON, DC—DoD should establish a suicide prevention policy office at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) level that disseminates best practices in suicide prevention to the field. This is the recommendation by a DoD task force set up to examine suicide prevention in the military. read more - Please read this article and participate in this month’s opinion poll.
Providers Discuss Addressing Pain in Servicemembers WASHINGTON, DC—Not all pain is gain. Unmanaged chronic pain in injured servicemembers and veterans can lead to negative health effects that can last a lifetime, speakers said at an educational forum on pain management held at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. “Chronic pain is one of the primary reasons why people go see a doctor. It is the number one reason that people are out of work in our society,” said Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Pain Management in the Stanford School of Medicine. read more
Congress Questions DoD's Efficiency Initiative WASHINGTON, DC—A House committee expressed concern to military officials in September about DoD’s plan to save billions of dollars through an efficiency initiative announced by DoD Secretary Robert Gates this year. That plan recommends disestablishing US Joint Forces Command, in addition to directing the services to find more than $100 billion in overhead savings over the next five years, among other proposals. read more