In This Issue

  • Report from the Chair
  • Project Highlight
  • Recent Literature
  • ACHORD Seen and Heard
  • Meet the Staff
  • Congratulations!
  • Events

ACHORD Seen and Heard

Recent Publications

Babinec PM, Rock MJ, Lorenzetti DL, Johnson JA. Do researchers use pharmacists’ communication as an outcome measure? A scoping review of pharmacist involvement in diabetes care. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice. 2010 Aug 1;18:183-193.

Bowker SL, Yasui Y, Veugelers P, Johnson JA. Glucose-lowering agents and cancer mortality rates in type 2 diabetes: assessing effects of time-varying exposure. Diabetologia. 2010 Aug 1;53:1631-1637.

Bresee LC, Majumdar SR, Patten SB, Johnson JA. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and health care use in people with and without schizophrenia. European Psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists. 2010 Jul 13; doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2010.05.003.

Gamble JM, Eurich DT, Marrie TJ, Majumdar SR. Admission hypoglycemia and increased mortality in patients hospitalized with pneumonia. American Journal of Medicine. 2010 Jun 1;123:556.e11-556.e16.

Gamble JM, Majumdar SR. ACP Journal Club. Review: Statin use increases risk for diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Jun 15;152:JC6-7.

Guimarães C, Marra CA, Gill S, Simpson S, Meneilly G, Queiroz RHC, Lynd LD. Exploring patients’ perceptions for insulin therapy in type 2 diabetes: a Brazilian and Canadian qualitative study. Patient Pref Adherence 2010;4:171-9.

Johnson JA, Pollak M. Insulin, glucose and the increased risk of cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2010 Jul 20;2086-2088.

Johnson JA, Yasui Y. Glucose-lowering therapies and cancer risk: the trials and tribulations of trials and observations. Diabetologia. 2010 Sep 1;53:1823-1826.

Oreopoulos A, Ezekowitz JA, McAlister FA et al. Association between direct measures of body composition and prognostic factors in chronic heart failure. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010 Jul 1;85:609-617.

Plotnikoff RC, Johnson ST, Luchak M et al. Peer Telephone Counseling for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Case-Study Approach to Inform the Design, Development, and Evaluation of Programs Targeting Physical Activity. The Diabetes educator. 2010 Jul 28; doi 10.1177/014572171037632.

Plotnikoff RC, Lightfoot P, McFall S et al. Child Health Ecological Surveillance System (CHESS) for childhood obesity: a feasibility study. Chronic Diseases in Canada. 2010 Jun 1;30:95-106.

Plotnikoff RC, Lippke S, Johnson ST, Courneya KS. Physical Activity and Stages of Change: A Longitudinal Test in Types 1 and 2 Diabetes Samples. Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. 2010 Jun 9; doi:10.1007/s12160-010-9193-5.

Rabi D, Clement F, McAlister F et al. Effect of perioperative glucose-insulin-potassium infusions on mortality and atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass grafting: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2010 Jun 1;26:178-184

Recent Presentations

Eurich DT, MacDonald MR, Majumdar SR, Lewsey JD, et al. Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Outcomes in Patients with Heart Failure: A Nested Case Control Study from the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database. American Diabetes Association 70th Scientific Sessions, June 25-29, 2010 Orlando, FL. Diabetes 2010;59(suppl 1):A199.

Johnson JA. Epidemiology of Diabetes and Cancer. 70th American Diabetes Association Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, Orlando, Florida, June 27, 2010.

Johnson JA, Bowker SL. Improved Glycemic Control and Cancer Risk in Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Major Trials. 26th Annual ICPE Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, August 20, 2010. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2010;19(Suppl. 1):S1.doi:10.1002/pds.19-S1

Ladhani N, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA, Tsuyuki R, Lewanczuk R, Spooner RG, Simpson SH. Effect of adding pharmacists to primary care teams on predicted 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized trial. Presented: American Diabetes Association 70th Scientific Sessions, Orlando, FL. June 2010. Diabetes 2010:59(suppl):A182.

Simpson SH, Gamble JM, Mereu L, Chambers T. Association between aspirin dose and cardiovascular outcomes: a meta-analysis. Presented: American Diabetes Association 70th Scientific Sessions, Orlando, FL. June 2010. (Nominated for a Moderated Poster Session) Diabetes 2010:59(suppl):A215.

Previous Issues





Come and see our new website!

We are pleased to reveal our new and updated website at earlier this year. Our new look website contains the same information as before, such as bios on ACHORD’s investigators, trainees and staff as well as information on past and present research projects, publications and funding sources. The latest ACHORD updates and announcements can also be found on the site. We have now implemented a Twitter feed so that ACHORD website viewers are able to see the most up to date activities of the ACHORD Team. We have also implemented an RSS feed so the most recent ACHORD publications are front and centre as well. The ACHORD Newsletter is also taking on a new, fresh, updated look and this edition of the newsletter is sent to most recipients via our website. You will be able to add, update or delete your email address through our website. We are able to send you a printed version of the newsletter if you like. Please check out our new website, we think you will like what you see!

Report from the Chair

Summer has flown by; I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some time off. As you can see in this issue of the ACHORD Newsletter, we have managed to stay busy even in these usually “slower” summer months. First, congratulations to Saskia Vanderloo and Lauren Bresee who both successfully completed their final oral exams in June. Lauren completed her PhD and has taken a position with the Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) in Calgary. Saskia completed her MSc and has stayed on as a research assistant with ACHORD. Congratulations ladies on a job well done! Darren Lau was invited to join other PhD students from across Canada at the CIHR IHSPR-IPPH Summer Institute 2010 in Alliston, Ontario in June.

The Alberta’s Caring for Diabetes (ABCD) Project is gaining momentum for full launch this fall. We received a grant from the Lawson Foundation to support the HEALD project, being lead by Steve Johnson. Sandra Rees has continued to work at establishing partnerships with the Primary Care Networks who will work with us to evaluate these quality improvement interventions. We also welcome Allison Soprovich who joins us as Project Coordinator as the ABCD team continues to grow!

Our research on cancer outcomes and diabetes medications continues to be an international interest. As reported below, Samantha Bowker and I travelled to Copenhagen in June to attend the Diabetes and Cancer Research Consortium workshop. I was also invited to speak on the topic at the Steno Diabetes Conference in Copenhagen in May and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Annual Meeting in Orlando in June. Dean Eurich and Scot Simpson both had poster presentations at the ADA Meeting in Orlando.

On the social level, congratulations to Jashu Minhas on her marriage to Ramnik Sandhu in June, we wish you both all the best. In July, Steve and Michelle Johnson had a baby girl, Libby, a little sister for their daughter Marrin. Congratulations Steve, Michelle and Marrin!  Dean and Michelle Eurich also had a baby girl in September, Taylor, a little sister for their daughters Rikki and Teagan.  Congratulations Dean, Michelle, Rikki and Teagan!

We are looking forward to introducing our new ACHORD trainees in the coming months. I have also been working on recruitment for ACHORD post-doctoral fellows this summer. In September, I will be attending the EuroQol Plenary in Athens, Greece as well as the 46th Annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. In October the 2010 Canadian Diabetes Association Annual Meeting will be held in Edmonton with many of us attending that meeting. The fall term will be busy for ACHORD. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys what is left of summer; looking forward to updating you on further ACHORD activities over the fall!

EFSD and the International Diabetes & Cancer Research Consortium

In response to the increased attention surrounding the topic of glucose-lowering therapies and cancer outcomes in people with diabetes, the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) established a 4 million Euro research fund for diabetes and cancer for European-based investigators. Dr. Jeff Johnson was invited to collaborate with a UK-based team lead by Craig Currie and Edwin Gale. Their proposal would involve extension of their initial analysis of data from the UK THIN databases. This ongoing work is now funded by the EFSD, and expands our collaborative research on this topic.

Further, having identified a number of interested colleagues through the EFSD funding program, Dr. Johnson and colleagues in the UK (Edwin Gale) and Denmark (Bendix Carstensen) initiated an international research consortium for observational studies of diabetes and cancer. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Steering Committee, which organized an initial meeting in Copenhagen in June 2010 (see

Carlo Marra, from UBC and Samantha Bowker, ACHORD Research Associate, also attended this first meeting in Copenhagen. A second meeting for this international consortium is tentatively planned for March 2011, to be hosted by Dr. Johnson in conjunction with the ACHORD Retreat in Banff, Canada.

Recent Literature from the ACHORD J Club

(paper discussed Monday, July 12, 2010; Commentary by Robin Lau)

The Health Study Group. A School-Based Intervention for Diabetes Risk Reduction. N Engl J Med 2010;363:443-453.

What was the study about?

This study was about a school based program designed to address the increasing concerns of the rising number of children with type 2 diabetes. Using a cluster randomized design, the authors compared a school based program consisting of 4 components including: 1) nutrition; 2) physical activity; 3) behavioural knowledge and skills and 4) communication and social marketing; to assessment only. The primary outcome was a composite of the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in grade 6 (baseline) and grade 8 (follow-up). The schools within the study were from economically disadvantaged areas, with a large proportion of ethnic minority groups, and known to be at higher risk for diabetes. Children spend large amounts of time in school and this was seen as an opportunity to implement behavioural and environmental changes to decrease the risk factors associated with diabetes.

What were the results of the study?

The investigators found reductions in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in both intervention and control groups; however the decrease was not statistically significant. Among the students who were overweight or obese (~50% of the sample) significant decreases were observed in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the intervention and control schools. Students in the intervention group had a 21% lower odds of being obese at the end of the study (odds ratio 0.79, 95% CI 0.63-0.98]. Significant differences were found in mean insulin levels, BMI z score and waist circumference at the end of the study in the intervention group.

What are the implications of the study?

The school based program intervention was associated with a decrease in the prevalence of obesity in the subgroup of students that were overweight or obese and the observed efficacy could be due to the nutritional intervention targeted energy balance rather than nutritional quality alone, leading to a significant energy deficit and a reduction in obesity. Parents with a history of diabetes may also be more responsive to the intervention messages.

Meet the Staff:

Allison Soprovich, BScN, MPH

Allison comes to the ABCD project with 5 years of community nursing experience, and a newly finished MPH degree in Global Health. Her main interest areas are access to health care, using research to develop and improve health programming, and health program evaluation. She loves the interdisciplinary aspects of public health and health promotion, collaborating among all sectors towards a common goal – Improved Health for All. Even though her previous project experience has taken her around the world, she is ready and committed to improving the health of Albertans here at home. Her other side is a contemporary dancer, with occasional shows around Edmonton. She also enjoys biking in the river valley, backpacking and of course, traveling. Allison is very excited to help and share in all stages of the ABCD project.

Congratulations Dr. Jeff Johnson!

Congratulations Jeff on being awarded one of six Killam Professorships awarded by the Office of the Vice-President Research, University of Alberta on behalf of the Killam Trusts Committee. This award is in recognition of outstanding contributions to scholarship and the University community. Well deserved award, congratulations Jeff!


International Diabetes and Cancer Research Consortium Meeting

March 8 – 9, 2011
The Banff Centre
Banff, Alberta, Canada

8th Annual ACHORD Retreat

March 10-11, 2011
The Banff Centre
Banff, Alberta, Canada

ACHORD Contact Information

Phone Numbers: General Inquiries: 780-248-1010 | Fax : 780-492-7455
University of Alberta | 2-040 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation | Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1