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7 Medical Breakthroughs for Women

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4. Easier Diabetes Control

Insulin shots may soon be a thing of the past. Exubera, an inhaler that delivers aerosolized insulin to the bloodstream through the lungs, was approved by the FDA in January. Taking the medication just before meals can control blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes as effectively as a shot.

Doctors believe Exubera may help many of the 20 million Americans, roughly half of them women, who suffer from the disease. Those who are dependent on insulin often have trouble controlling their blood sugar, which involves numerous daily blood checks and shots. As a result, many patients develop serious complications such as heart attacks, says Larry C. Deeb, MD, an endocrinologist in Tallahassee, Florida, and president, medicine and science, of the American Diabetes Association. "Eliminating the need for injection may make it easier for people to use insulin," says Dr. Deeb.

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