ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
DIET, NUTRITION
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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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