Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of diabetes that may be unnoticeable in its early stages, but which can lead to vision impairment and blindness. It affects an estimated one in three people living with diabetes, and is a primary cause of vision loss and blindness in people aged between 20 and 65. 

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a potential complication of DR. It is caused by disruption of the blood-retinal barrier due to long-term hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose), leading to retinal thickening around the fovea. DME currently affects more than 28 million people with diabetes. 

The vast majority (79%) of respondents with diabetes to the Diabetes Retinopathy Barometer Report: Global Findings who had impaired vision due to DR or diabetic macular edema (DME), said their sight problems made everyday activities difficult, and in some cases impossible. These activities included driving, working and cooking or cleaning their home.

DME has unique assessment criteria, since it can present in eyes at all levels of DR. Therefore, early screening and detection is crucial in halting and where possible correcting DME. Since early damage is painless and goes unnoticed by the patient, regular screening is recommended for all people with diabetes.

Health practitioners have reported a need for additional training in the diagnosis, treatment and referral of diabeties-related eye disease. Due to its threat to vision, the clinical signs of DME warrant immediate referral to an ophthalmologist. Therefore, the employment of trained health care professionals to carry out basic screening and make appropriate referrals would be the most efficient use of resources.

In support of those on the frontline of diabetes eye health, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has led a team of experts in the development of the Clinical Practice Recommendations for Managing Diabetic Macular Edema. This is intended to facilitate the work of general practitioners, hospital physicians, and other clinicians working in diabetes-related eye disease management.

The clinical recommendations grew out of a collaborative, evidence-based process and reflect the latest advances in DME management.

The World Heart Federation, in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), has launched a new “roadmap” aimed at reducing the global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people living with diabetes. The Roadmap on the prevention of cardiovascular disease among people living with diabetes is a key reference document for anyone involved in the planning, organisation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of approaches related to CVD prevention in people living with diabetes. It outlines a vision of an ideal pathway of care, potential roadblocks along this pathway, and proposed solutions, with examples from practice.

Rapid urbanization, unhealthy diets and increasingly sedentary lifestyles have resulted in fast-growing rates of obesity and diabetes, with an estimated 425 million people currently living with diabetes worldwide. Around 90 percent have type 2 diabetes. Alarmingly, the situation is set to deteriorate further in the coming decades, with the total number of people with diabetes predicted to increase to over 600 million by 2045. It is estimated that globally, up to 50 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are unaware of their condition. While diabetes is treatable, even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of CVD. People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, myocardial infarction and angina pectoris compared to those without the condition. Prevention of CVD in people with diabetes is a necessity and strategies predominantly focus on lifestyle management and risk factor interventions.

The Roadmap draws on the expertise of diabetes expert clinicians, researchers, implementation science experts and people with diabetes from around the world. It presents an integrated approach to patient care, involving the patient perspective, healthcare system perspective and health policy perspective.

Laurence Sperling, Chair of the CVD and Diabetes Roadmap Writing Group explains, “We have identified important gaps in the care of people living with diabetes who are a high cardiovascular risk, and focused on priorities and key action areas to close these gaps. We also provide an ‘implementation toolkit’ for successful translation of the Roadmap to national and local initiatives, aiming to ensure that as many people living with diabetes as possible receive optimal preventive care and treatment. Our goal is to demonstrate how using this roadmap can help a broad base of stakeholders begin to tackle the problem and make a longstanding difference.”


  • Download the roadmap (pdf), originally published in Global Heart (vol. 14, no. 3, September 2019)
  • Download the summary document (pdf)

IDF believes in the value of face-to-face education and personal exchange. This will again be showcased at the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal on 2-4 July 2020, which will provide opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions with representatives from all sectors of the global diabetes community.

For exhibitors that have joined us at past IDF Congresses or will consider participating for the first time, we firmly believe that the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 will be beneficial for both you and our delegates.

The congress will be held at the Centro de Congressos de Lisboa CCL, located on the river Tagus and in the historical area of Belem. This comfortable and pleasant venue offers spacious auditoriums, meeting facilities and an exhibition space, all conveniently located and within easy reach.

The IDF 2020 programme will feature four streams covering diabetes-related complications:

  • Head & brain
  • Circulation & heart
  • Liver & kidney
  • Foot

A fifth stream will focus on education and technology to support healthcare professionals in their daily work.

All relevant statistics to help you better understand the IDF Congress audience and programme is available in our congress library.

We look forward to welcoming you to the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal.

For additional information and queries, please contact:
Celina Renner
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T +32 2 543 16 32


Book your hotel for IDF 2020

TA DMC Portugal is the official housing bureau for the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 in Lisbon and will offer assistance with the coordination of housing requests. A wide variety of hotels across all categories have been secured in Lisbon.

All rates are quoted in EURO, per standard room and per night. They include breakfast and taxes, except for the Lisbon City tax of €2 per person per night to be paid directly to the hotel. This tax may change in 2020.

For questions related to accommodation, please contact:

IDF Congress 2020 Housing Bureau
Tel +351 218 646 900
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Book your hotel for IDF 2020

Cancellation policy

In case of cancellation, a 100% cancellation fee applies, except if TA DMC Portugal can resell the cancelled room(s). Eventual refunds are subject to an administrative charge of 30. "No-shows" will be charged in full (total nights reserved).

If you wish to change or cancel your hotel booking, please contact TA DMC Portugal by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Travel & visa

Lisbon is just a short flight away: 1-3 hours from most European cities and 5-8 hours from North America.

Lisbon Airport is only a 15 min transfer from the city centre and is served by all major airlines with daily non-stop connections to all major European cities as well as the US, South America and Africa (more than 50 destinations).

Find valuable information and useful tips in the Lisboa Congress Guide (pdf)


To enter Portugal, you may need a Passport and/or a Visa, depending on the country you live in. Citizens from the European Community don’t need a Visa for entering Portugal. Portugal is also a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement.

Passports must be valid for up to six months (depending on your nationality) and are required by all, except by European Union nationals and nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway and Switzerland holding valid national ID cards. British, Australian, Canadian, American and Japanese need a valid passport.

Although it is not obligatory to have a return ticket, it is advisable to have one because, if you don’t, you may have to prove sufficient means of financial support to return.

Visas are required by all for stays of up to 90 days, with the exception of nationals from:

  • The countries listed above
  • Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Hungary, Israel, Korea (Rep. of), Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela

Find out if you require a visa to enter Portugal.

© 2019 International Diabetes Federation Disclaimer