News in brief: T2D and fractures a lethal combination; Decimal point warning for insulin pump users; Male researchers in denial about gender-biased peer review

Wednesday, 2 Mar 2022

T2D and fractures a lethal combination

People with type 2 diabetes who have fractures should have careful follow up because the combination is associated with significant excess mortality, an Australian study suggests.

Results from a prospective study involving 3618 participants found that mortality risk over 13 years follow up was 2.6 times higher for people with T2D and any fracture, compared to people without either condition. The risk was particularly high for people who had a longer duration of T2D (>5 years), following hip/vertebral fractures in men and non-hip non-vertebral fractures in women.

Researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney said the findings showed the importance of fracture prevention interventions for people with T2D and also adequate post-fracture management.

The results are published in Bone.

Decimal point warning for insulin pump users

A Safety Alert has been issued for users of the Tandem Diabetes Care t:slim X2 insulin pump, warning them to check for correct placement of the decimal point when inputting doses of insulin into the device.

In conjunction with the TGA, manufacturer AMSL Diabetes is contacting patients to be vigilant when inputting dose values into the pump’s Personal Profile feature that allows users to personalise the settings that define the delivery of basal and bolus insulin within specific time segments in a 24-hour period.

Even with confirmation steps, a user could inadvertently program and confirm a basal rate with an incorrectly placed decimal point, the company says.

For example, a user who intends to program a basal rate of 0.7 units/hour might inadvertently enter and confirms a basal rate of 7.0 units/hour, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

The company is advising users to continue using their pump but with the extra precautions when creating or editing a Personal Profile within the Tandem insulin pump.

Male researchers in denial about gender-biased peer review

Gender disparities will continue in medical and scientific research funding so long as male medical researchers remain in denial about systemic bias in areas such as peer review, an immunologist says.

Dr Jessica Borger says there is clear evidence that of gender bias against women in funding application processes such as the NHMRC,  and the problem increases with seniority.

Writing in Women’s Agenda she notes that funding rates for women in the the recent 2021 Investigator Grants outcomes were 2–4% lower than those for men, enough to results in noticeable disparities in funding rates.

The bias is inherent in peer review system and needs to be tackled with gender quotas, she says.

“With more men than women receiving funding in the top bracket, women on average received $500,000 less per grant than the men despite being at the same level of seniority. Ultimately, this means of the few successful senior women retained to do competitive research, are doing so with significantly reduced funds compared to their male counterparts, limiting their future research pathway and forcing women researchers to leave science at early stages of their career,” Dr Borger said.

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