ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
After Job Loss, People Report More Health Issues
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
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Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- The drug calcium dobesilate does not prevent the development of blindness-causing macular edema in people with diabetes who have mild-to-moderate diabetic retinopathy, a new study has found.

About 50 percent of people who have type 1 diabetes and 30 percent of those with type 2 diabetes develop retinopathy, which is damage to the retina caused by diabetes-related complications. Clinically significant macular edema (CSME) occurs when diabetic retinopathy progresses.

When this happens, fluid and protein deposits accumulate near or at the macula, the central area of the retina, causing it to thicken and swell, according to background information in a news release from The Lancet. The results of the study are in this week's issue of the journal.

The multi-center study included 635 people with type 2 diabetes and mild-to-moderate diabetic retinopathy who were randomly selected to take either calcium dobesilate or a placebo.

CSME developed in 86 of the 324 people who took calcium dobesilate and in 69 of the 311 who took the placebo. The researchers determined that people who took the drug were 32 percent more likely to develop CSME than those who took the placebo.

"Our findings showed that calcium dobesilate could neither prevent occurrence of CSME nor reduce probability of developing CSME during the five-year follow-up period" in the participants, concluded Dr. Christos Haritoglou, of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, and his colleagues.

An accompanying commentary stressed the need to "distinguish between the prevention of retinopathy and the prevention of diabetic blindness." It was written by Dr. Anna B. Einarsdottir and Dr. Einar Stefansson of the University of Iceland and Landspitali, National Hospital, in Reykjavik, Iceland.

"Diabetic blindness can be reduced or prevented without reducing retinopathy," they said. "Systemic screening for diabetic retinopathy and preventive laser treatment for those who develop macular edema or proliferative retinopathy reduces the rate of blindness to about 0.5 percent in the diabetic population, regardless of the prevalence of retinopathy."

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about diabetic eye disease.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, April 16, 2009

Last Updated: April 17, 2009

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