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Depression Increases Risk for Diabetic Seniors Lost in Translation Millions of people in the West utilize traditional Chinese medicine, but only a few schools in the United States that teach Chinese medicine require Chinese-language training. And only a handful of Chinese medical texts have so far been translated into English. Given the complexity of the language and concepts in these texts, there is a need for accurate, high-quality translations, say researchers at UCLA’s Center for East-West Medicine. Now the center has published a document that includes a detailed discussion of the issues involved in Chinese medical translation. The document is designed to help students, educators, practitioners, researchers, publishers and translators evaluate and digest Chinese medical texts with greater sensitivity and comprehension. “This publication aims to raise awareness among the many stakeholders involved with the translation of Chinese medicine,” says Ka-Kit Hui, MD ’75 (RES ’78, FEL ’79), founder and director of the UCLA center. The 15-page document, Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine, was developed and written by a UCLA team that included a doctor, an anthropologist, a China scholar and a translator. Authors Sonya Pritzker, a licensed Chinese-medicine practitioner and anthropologist, and Hanmo Zhang, a China scholar, hope the publication will promote communication in the field and play a role in the development of thorough, accurate translations. The document highlights several important topics in the translation of Chinese medical texts, including the history of Chinese medical translations, which individuals make ideal translators, and other translation- specific issues, such as the delicate balance of focusing translations on the source-document language while considering the language into which it will be translated. Photo: Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine The document also addresses issues of technical terminology, period-specific language and style and historical and cultural perspectives. For example, depending on historical circumstances and language use, some translations may be geared toward a Western scientific audience, or, alternately, it may take a more-natural and spiritual tone. The authors note that it is sometimes helpful to include dual translations, such as “windfire eye/acute conjunctivitis,” in order to facilitate a link between traditional Chinese medical terms and biomedical diagnoses. The final section of the document calls for further discussion and action, specifically in the development of international collaborative efforts geared toward the creation of more rigorous guidelines for the translation of Chinese-medicine texts. To view a copy of Considerations in the Translation of Chinese Medicine, click on the link to this article at: magazine.uclahealth.org A diabetic’s risk of premature death is about double that of someone of the same age without diabetes. In addition, diabetics are twice as likely to have depression, which further increases their mortality risk. A new UCLA-led study suggests that for diabetics age 65 and older, depression is linked with a far-greater chance for early death compared with people of the same age who do not have depression. This may perhaps be because those with depression are less-likely to adhere to a regimen of prescribed medications, diet, exercise and glucose self-monitoring. While the link between depression and mortality among people with diabetes has been the subject of other studies, this one is the first to examine the phenomenon among those 65 and older versus younger people, says Lindsay B. Kimbro, MPP, project director in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research. Each participant was given a baseline survey and was contacted for a follow-up survey six-to-seven years later. “Although depression is an important clinical problem for people of all ages, when you split the different age groups, depression in the younger group doesn’t lead to increased mortality six-to-seven years later,” Kimbro says. Using data from the eight-state Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes study, the researchers analyzed information on 3,341 people with diabetes, including 1,402 who were 65 years of age and older and 1,939 between the ages of 18 and 64. They measured mortality risk as the number of days until death since the time of the interview. The researchers controlled for age, gender, race and ethnicity, income and co-morbidities such as heart and kidney disease associated with diabetes. As in previous studies, the results revealed that the risk for early death among depressed people with diabetes was 49-percent higher than among those without depression; however, the correlation was even more pronounced among older adults: Researchers found a 78-percent higher mortality risk among those 65 and older than they did among non-depressed people with diabetes within that age group. For younger participants with diabetes, the effect of depression on their risk for early death was not statistically significant. “Depression and All-Cause Mortality in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus: Are Older Adults at Higher Risk? Results from the Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes Study,” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, June 2014 U MAGAZINE 11