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I have written in the past about medical alert bracelets and the importance of letting first responders know one's medical concerns or conditions. It is important to anticipate possible emergency situations and to make things easier for them and safer for us.

On the Internet the other day I saw photo of a different kind of medical alert product that should be of interest to many people. The photo was of a child strapped into a seat belt and on the shoulder part of the belt was an attached strap on which was written a warning that the person in the belt was autistic and might react negatively to someone trying to move or help him or her.

Several sites market what are called "seatbelt ID straps." I do not recommend any particular site, but for example, the site rescuefacts.com details the product and mentions it was developed by people in the field who have had combined years of experience in dealing with emergency situations when time is of the essence. Digging through a purse or wallet isn't always possible. These straps contain a moisture resistant paper with information on it that includes name, a photo, medical conditions, blood type, medications, allergies, preferred medical treatment information and emergency contacts.

The straps also can be used on backpack straps, and bike or walker handles. Versions for pets are available too.

The May Journal of Diabetes published information about a large study conducted in China that shows the disease is linked to an increased risk of 11 types of cancer in men and 13 types in women.

The article, which was on the website of Everyday Health (everydayhealth.com), states that China has the highest number of people with type 2 diabetes in the world.

According to one of the study's co-authors, Dr. Bin Cui of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, there have been previous studies over the past decade that have also shown there is a relationship. According to Cui, the association between diabetes and cancer risk depends on the specific cancer type.

In the study, Cui and his colleagues examined the health of more than 410,000 adults in mainland China with type 2 diabetes who didn't have cancer at the beginning of the investigation. Participants were followed from July 2013 to December 2016 and assessed whether they developed cancer. The authors then compared these rates to those of the general population.

Researchers found that men with diabetes had a 34% increased risk of developing cancer, while women with diabetes have a 62% increased risk. The higher risks were linked with a range of cancer types.

Diabetic men had a significantly higher risk, almost double, for prostate cancer. But type 2 diabetes was also linked to higher risk of leukemia, lymphoma, and skin, thyroid, liver, pancreatic, kidney cancer, lung, stomach and colorectal cancer.

Women with type 2 had a twofold higher risk of nasopharynx cancer. They also had elevated risks for liver, esophageal, thyroid, lung, pancreatic, uterine, colorectal, breast, cervical and stomach cancer, as well as lymphoma and leukemia. But they had a lower risk for gallbladder cancer.

There was a report in 2010 from a joint committee of the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society that delved into possible explanations for the elevated risk.

Being overweight, which is common among people with type 2 diabetes, also elevates cancer risk. It is also higher among black people and those who smoke. There was some evidence found that higher levels of insulin circulating in the blood increase the risk. And, higher insulin levels tend to promote cell growth and division, which are characteristics of cancer in some ways.

The two diseases share some risk-reduction strategies, experts are quick to point out. Numerous studies have found that exercise, losing weight and eating more healthfully can help lower the risks.

Patients and their doctors should be aware of the link between diabetes and cancer. Losing weight or loss of appetite, can be presenting signs of cancer.

Be proactive so you may not have to be reactive.

Email me at:

rboggs@arkansasonline.com

Style on 06/17/2019

Print Headline: Seat belt ID straps warn EMTs of health issues

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