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Preventing blindness online

Individuals with diabetes are 25 to 30 times more likely to lose their sight from diabetic eye damage (retinopathy), cataracts or glaucoma. The US National Eye Institute reports that almost half of the 16 million people with diabetes in America have at least early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Nearly 700,000 people have serious retinal disease, and as many as 25,000 people go blind from diabetic retinopathy. In light of these statistics, Prevent Blindness America (PBA), the oldest volunteer eye health organization in the United States, has launched a new website, www.diabetes-sight.org.

Skills, strategies and sunshine: education in the Carribean

According to Diabetes Atlas 2000, there are 21.4 million people with diabetes living in the North American region of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Prevalence rates of diabetes are high in this region as compared to Europe and Africa. The Caribbean countries in particular have a disproportionately high number of inhabitants with diabetes. Indeed, several islands in the Caribbean rank in the top 10 of all IDF member countries in terms of diabetes prevalence. The need for diabetes education in the region is therefore high.

The EASD 37th annual meeting in Glasgow

The 37th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) from 9-13 September, hosted by Diabetes UK, was the biggest meeting of the EASD to date. Ten thousand people in total attended the array of satellite symposia, lectures, poster sessions and the exhibition. However, the news of the terrorist attack in New York, shocking to everyone, dampened proceedings and caused logistical chaos for the American delegation. Following is a brief overview of some of the many interesting topics presented at the meeting.

World Diabetes Day 2002: a bird's-eye view

This year the WDD theme of diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) played a more prominent role in the publicity surrounding WDD events than has been the case for previous themes. Diabetes is the world's primary cause of damage to vision and blindness. One of the specific objectives of WDD 2002 was to warn of the threat of irreversible retinopathy posed by the condition. The theme was taken up in order to campaign for improved provision of sight checks as a relatively low-cost method of prevention.

Highlights of the 38th Annual Meeting of the EASD, Budapest 2002

The 38th Annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) took place in September on the banks of the Danube, in Budapest, Hungary. The conference provided an arena for industry to present new drugs and devices relevant to treatment of patients with diabetes.

ADA 2002 highlights

Many interesting topics were in focus at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in San Francisco in June. Visitors joined the crowds at numerous symposia, multiple poster sessions, and the commercial exhibition. You will find here an overview of some notable issues discussed at this year's ADA.

A Canterbury tale: this is your life, Don Beaven

Some people have ideas; others seem driven to put them into effect. In Christchurch, New Zealand, over the last 50 years, Don Beaven has pioneered diabetes associations, diabetes centres, diabetes promotion, and diabetes guidelines, not to mention wine and olive growing. The local diabetes association, Diabetes Christchurch, recently held a 'This is Your Life' celebration of his activities and successes – Elizabeth Home reports.

Diabetes and kidney disease: a report from NephroAsia 2004

The global burden of chronic kidney failure (end stage renal disease) is primarily driven by the current parallel rise in the prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension). Asia, which has more than 60% of the world’s population, is at the forefront of this global epidemic of diabetes and kidney disease. Juliana Chan offers some background on the current status of care for kidney disease and reports on the NephroAsia 2004 meeting in Singapore.

Thinking big to raise awareness in India: the mega diabetes show

According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, 23 million people in India have diabetes, more than in any other country in the world. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to over 57 million. In other words, one in seven people in India will have diabetes. The increasing prevalence of diabetes seen throughout Asia is a reflection of the effects of westernization, urbanization, and mechanization, all of which are associated with a sedentary life style. Diabetes requires life-long treatment and impacts upon people's daily lives. It carries the risk of chronic complications.

International Diabetes Youth Ambassadors: dreaming, learning, doing

'Dreaming, learning, doing' is the inspirational slogan of the International Diabetes Youth Ambassadors (IDYA). As the former National Youth Advocate for the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Clare Rosenfeld received a multitude of e-mails from young people with diabetes around the world. Some asked for assistance; others for education. All of them shared a dream of one day seeing a cure for diabetes. This dream led Clare to contact Children with Diabetes (CWD), in the hope of creating a global programme to unite these young people.

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