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Downstate Times

The Newsletter for SUNY Downstate
University Hospital of Brooklyn

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ISSUE 10 star JUNE 2013


Downstate Launches GRADE Study to Find Best Treatments for Diabetes — Only Site in Brooklyn to Offer National Clinical Trial

10 NYC Community Districts with the Highest Age-adjusted Diabetes-related Death Rates, 2011

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Did you know that diabetes-related deaths in many of the Brooklyn communities Downstate serves are among the highest in the city?

According to a new report issued by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the death toll from diabetes and its complications—including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure— reached an all-time high in 2011.

Of the 10 community districts with the highest rates of diabetes-related mortality listed in the report, four are in Brooklyn: Bushwick, East New York, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Brownsville. In Community Board Districts 17 (East Flatbush) and 14 (Flatbush, Midwood), 256 deaths from diabetes or related causes were reported in 2011.

Here at Downstate, our physicians and researchers have made diabetes prevention and the search for better treatments a top priority. MaryAnn Banerji, MD, chief of endocrinology and director of the Diabetes Treatment Center, is the local principal investigator at Downstate for a national clinical trial launched in June aimed at finding the best combination drug treatment for diabetes.

The Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes Study (GRADE for short) is a national trial sponsored by the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that will compare the long-term benefits and risks of four widely used diabetes drugs in combination with metformin, the most common front-line medication for treating type 2 diabetes.

"The GRADE study should be extremely valuable in helping us learn how to best treat and manage diabetes among Brooklyn residents," says Dr. Banerji.

Volunteers are now being recruited for the GRADE Study at Downstate. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, call 718/270-1542 for more information.