New effort to fight diabetes in Sonoma County

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Sonoma County medical providers are taking aggressive steps to deal with the high rate of patients with diabetes admitted to local hospitals, a trend that is said to be driving up hospital costs.

In Sonoma County, patients with diabetes account for almost 26 percent of all local hospital admissions, according to a recent UCLA analysis of 2011 hospital patient discharge data. That’s a total of 7,459 hospital admissions.

The added cost of hospital care is estimated at $16.4 million, according to the study, which was conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research with support from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

“We are very concerned about the epidemic of diabetes and the toll that it takes on individuals and the system that cares for them,” said Karen Holbrook, the county’s deputy public health officer.

Holbrook said diabetic patients who are admitted to local hospitals pose more medical complications than those who are not diabetic and often require more tests and treatments. Severe diabetes often results in serious medical conditions such as liver disease and kidney failure, she said.

According to the UCLA study, 31 percent of the state’s hospitalized patients 35 years or older, the age group that accounts for most hospitalizations, had diabetes. The study estimated that the added cost to hospitals in California was $1.6 billion. Hospital stays for diabetic patients in the state cost an average of $2,200 more than for non-diabetic patients, according to the study.

The study’s authors pointed out that 75 percent of this care is covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Medi-Cal alone pays $254 million in added costs for diabetic patients.

High-fat diet is awful, but it may reverse diabetes-related kidney damage

By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times

A high-fat “ketogenic” diet may reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes, a study published online Wednesday by the journal PLoS One reports.

Past research has shown that lowering blood sugar through diet can prevent kidney failure but not reverse it in patients with diabetes.  Lead author Charles Mobbs, a neuroscientist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said that this study — in which mice were fed a high-fat diet of 5% carbohydrate, 8% protein and a whopping 87% fat — was the first to show that dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse kidney failure caused by diabetes.

March 29, 2011 ~ Diabetes and Your Kidneys with Nephrologist Dr. Patricia J. Lyons Underwood Memorial Hospital

Dr. Patricia J. Lyons

Dr. Lyons is a graduate of Hahnemann Medical College, she completed her Internship at Philadelphia General Hospital and her Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia.  Dr. Lyons is currently in private practice with Lyons Chvala Nephrology Associates, maintains hospital privilges at Hahnemann, Underwood Memorial Hospital and Virtua West Jersey.  She is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Drexel Medical College, the Director of the Division of Nephrology at Underwood Memorial Hospital and the Medical Director of the FMC Fairmount dialysis center in Philadelphia.  Dr. Lyons was the former Medical Director fo the renal Transplant Program at Hahnemann University Hospital from 1970 – 1990.


Listen to  Diabetes Living Today® interview with Dr. Patricia J. Lyons.

March 29, 2011 ~  Diabetes and Your Kidneys with Nephrologist Dr. Patricia J. Lyons Underwood Memorial Hospital