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Endocrine Society, March 20-23

The annual meeting of the Endocrine Society was held virtually this year from March 20 to 23 and attracted participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in endocrine and metabolic disorders. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of obesity, endocrine disorders, diabetes, growth hormone, and thyroid diseases.

In one study, Franziska Plessow, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues found that ghrelin might play a much broader role in human perception and behavior than has been acknowledged to date. This finding will hopefully inspire future research into its role in food-independent function.

The authors evaluated whether ghrelin might be involved in decision-making in humans by using a well-established behavioral paradigm called the delay discounting task. The researchers found that in healthy adolescent and young adult women, higher total ghrelin levels in plasma predicted a higher preference for smaller, immediate monetary rewards over larger, delayed monetary rewards, indicating more impulsive choices. On the contrary, in age-matched women with a low-weight eating disorder, no such relationship was observed, possibly due to chronically altered ghrelin levels and ghrelin resistance.

"At this point in time, studies, such as ours, can point clinicians to ghrelin's potential larger impact on human behavior when thinking about treatment of patients with altered ghrelin levels and, importantly, inspire future research into this fascinating endocrine-behavioral link and its potential for further advancing clinical care," Plessow said.

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In another study, Samara Skwiersky, M.D., of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, and colleagues found that hyperglycemia on hospital admission results in worse clinical outcomes in patients, with and without diabetes, who are hospitalized for COVID-19 infection.

In this retrospective cohort study, the authors explored the relationship between admission hyperglycemia in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection and clinical outcomes in a majority Black population. All adults admitted with COVID-19 infection to SUNY Downstate Medical Center, a designated COVID-19-only hospital in Brooklyn, from March 1 to May 15, 2020, were evaluated.

The researchers found that patients with diabetes who had an admission glucose greater than 140 mg/dL, compared with those with glucose less than 140 mg/dL, had significantly increased odds of intubation and intensive care unit (ICU) admission, whereas patients with diabetes and an admission glucose greater than 180 mg/dL had increased odds of mortality alone. In comparison, patients without diabetes with an admission glucose level greater than 140 mg/dL had increased odds of mortality, ICU admission, intubation, and acute kidney injury. Patients with glucose levels greater than 180 mg/dL had increased odds of mortality, ICU admission, and intubation.

"Our findings suggest that patients with COVID-19 who present with high blood sugar require closer observation and more aggressive therapies, regardless of prior diagnosis of diabetes," Skwiersky said. "Although our study is retrospective in design, the results are consistent with the current Endocrine Society guidelines, which recommend that all patients hospitalized with blood glucose greater than 140 mg/dL be monitored and treated with appropriate therapies."

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Xiaoqiang Wang, M.D., Ph.D., of the the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, California, and colleagues demonstrated in a mouse model that white button mushroom extract lowers prostate-specific antigen levels and suppresses the growth of prostate tumors.

In a reverse-translational study, the authors implanted human prostate tumors into mice and generated a patient-derived xenograft model. They also used human prostate cancer cells for the study. The researchers found that chemicals in white button mushrooms could suppress androgen receptor activity in prostate cancer cells. Prostate tumor growth was significantly suppressed and levels of prostate-specific antigen decreased in mice treated with white button mushroom extract for six days.

"With this information, we have initiated a phase 2 clinical trial with a large number of prostate cancer patients in the hope of finding the positive and healing effects of white button mushrooms on patients," Wang said.

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ENDO: Continuing Semaglutide Aids Weight Loss in Overweight, Obese

THURSDAY, March 25, 2021 -- For overweight and obese individuals who completed a 20-week run-in with subcutaneous semaglutide, continuing treatment is associated with a greater mean body weight change compared with switching to placebo, according to a study published online March 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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ENDO: In Utero 17-OHPC Exposure Ups Later Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 -- In utero exposure to 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate is associated with an increased risk for any cancer in adult offspring, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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ENDO: Once-Weekly Basal Insulin Fc Promising for T2DM

TUESDAY, March 23, 2021 -- For individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus, once-weekly, long-acting, basal insulin Fc is noninferior to insulin degludec for glycemic control, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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ENDO: T1DM Patients With DKA Readmitted Fairly Often

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 -- About one in every five patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus admitted to the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis is readmitted within 30 days, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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ENDO: Three Months After COVID-19, Thyroid Function Normalizes

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 -- At three months after COVID-19 disease, patients have normalized thyroid function, but subacute thyroiditis may be present, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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ENDO: Common Meds Interfere With TFTs in Older Adults on Thyroid Hormone

FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 -- Almost one-third of adults aged 65 years and older on thyroid hormone replacement also take medications that commonly interfere with thyroid function tests, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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ENDO: Rates of Drug Treatment for Osteoporosis Low in the US

FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 -- An analysis of U.S. claims data from a private insurance database indicates that many patients who are eligible for drug therapy of osteoporosis are not receiving prescriptions for bone-directed medications, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held virtually from March 20 to 23.

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