Focus on Clinical Investigations of Diabetes Mellitus
“Our faculty have particular interest in diabetes mellitus and disorders of lipoprotein metabolism (interests that synergize superbly with those of investigators in other departments at Wake Forest), and our researchers have been notably successful in their investigations of the biochemistry, pathophysiology, complications, prevention, and improved treatments for diabetes and lipid abnormalities.”—Dr. Ober
The Section’s research efforts concentrate on clinical investigations, primarily addressing diabetes mellitus, a disease affecting more than seventeen million Americans and whose numbers are escalating in white and minority populations. Patients with type two diabetes mellitus die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at rates two to four times higher than non-diabetic populations of similar demographic characteristics. With the growing prevalence of obesity in the United States, CVD associated with type two diabetes is expected to become an even greater public health challenge in the coming decades.
To this end, the Section is heavily involved in the multi-center National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigation, Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, an eight-year study involving more than 10,000 participants. The purpose of research is to identify ways to prevent heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death in adults with type two diabetes mellitus using intensive glycemic control, blood pressure control, and lipid management. The trial is testing three complementary medical treatment strategies to enhance the options for reducing morbidity and mortality. Other NIH-funded grants include the Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) trial, directed by Jorge Calles, MD, addressing type two diabetes mellitus prevention in high-risk patients, and the Gastroparesis Registry, a joint effort with the Section on Gastroenterology.
Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS). Results presented by Jorge Calles-Escandon, M.D., associate professor of Internal Medicine-Endocrinology and Metabolism, at the National Endocrine Society meeting indicated that African-American women of normal weight had more than double the risk of insulin resistance compared to white and Hispanic women of normal weight.