Speaking of big, see the TIME magazine Year in Medicine 2008.
Take a gander at their 5 Truths About Health Care in America, which probably won't surprise you: we Americans spend too much on health care, and get little for our money. On the whole, we don't live too healthfully. But at least we are making some progress on curbing the country's top killers: cancer, heart disease, and stroke (the latter two often associated with diabetes, of course).
In their A-Z section, unfortunately "D" is for daycare, not diabetes. Although daycare is certainly a prime issue for parents everywhere, don't I know it!
In terms of diabetes, you can read the comments from some of the writers at dLife on what was big for them this year HERE. Notably:
"Without a doubt, I think the number one diabetes story of the year was the long overdue recognition by the American Diabetes Association in January 2008 that low-carbohydrate diets have a role to play in weight loss." - from Ilene Rush, Second Chances
"2008 was the year for social media and patients with diabetes. ... As 2008 wraps up, there are more than ten social networks focused on specific niches and needs, along with a growing presence of diabetes in social media sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. These are all positive steps to help connect more people with diabetes and raise diabetes awareness. 2009 will be the year of the World Diabetes Day doodle!" - from Manny Hernandez, Hola Diabetes
Regarding health & medicine on the whole, I learned that 2008 was also a big year for personal genomics, but a bad year for anti-depressant research. Yet perhaps more importantly, a great year for whistle-blowers on researchers' conflicts of interest and disclosure issues.
Apparently 2008 was also a huge year for marijuana reform.
Stepping back for a view of the bigger picture, some folks on Long Island say: "Historians may look back on 2008 as a year when the health of the economy emerged as a pivotal issue." This is good.
The Health Reform Year in Review concurs:
"To their everlasting credit, candidates in both parties took our nation's health care crisis seriously and voters in both parties spoke up. ... Yes we enter 2009 with trepidation about our nation's economy, about what's ahead. But we also enter the New Year with hope. Inspired in part by the passion of Sen. Kennedy, leaders in both the House and Senate have already begun the hard work that an historic legislative initiative demands. President-elect Obama has made clear that health reform is a priority for his administration, not just a slogan for his campaign."
A very good sign for an auspicious New Year, I'd say.
Happy New Year, One and All!