Diabetes Voice

Diabetes Voice is the quarterly magazine of IDF. It covers the latest developments in diabetes care, education, prevention, research, health policy and economics, as well as themes related to living with diabetes. Diabetes Voice goes to the heart of issues that are crucial to all those who can further the promotion of diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide.

Editor-in-Chief: Dr Douglas Villarroel (Bolivia)
Editor: Elizabeth Snouffer (USA)

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Issue: October 2017 - Women and diabetes
Section: The global campaign

IDF Congress 2017: Scientific Programme

Versión española

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The global diabetes community will unite on 4-8 December for the IDF 2017 Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The 2017 Congress will include more than 200 expert speakers, 230 national diabetes associations from 170 countries and high level participation from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and other health organisations. IDF’s scientific programme will take place over four days with the aim of delivering worldwide diabetes expertise through varied and innovative program stream sessions.

For 2017, IDF has nine streams covering all areas of the field of diabetes. Below, Manny Hernandez, Stream Lead for Living with Diabetes; Hak Chul Sang, Stream Lead for Diabetes in Women and Children; and Massimo Benedetti, Stream Lead for Diabetes in Society and Culture provide the opportunity for us to learn more about their respective programs and what they have planned for the 2017 IDF Congress.

Living with Diabetes

Manny Hernandez

As we approach our global gathering in Abu Dhabi this December, I’m glad to reconnect with fellow people with diabetes (PWD) and other friends and colleagues from around the world.

Since 2016, I’ve been working alongside an incredible group of advocates to bring to life the 2017 World Diabetes Congress Living with Diabetes (LWD) stream. Deputy Lead Renza Scibilia (Australia), Kelly Close (USA), Mary Shi (China), and Hakeem Adejumo (Nigeria) are to be thanked for the extraordinary program congress attendees will have an opportunity to participate in and learn from.

In the context of this Diabetes Voice issue, dedicated to “Woman and Diabetes”, I feel honored that more than two thirds of the 34 speakers we will hear from in our stream in Abu Dhabi are women: mothers, daughters, sisters… all touched by diabetes.

A cornerstone Living with Diabetes (LWD) session will be the Wim Wientjens Memorial Symposium: “Hypoglycaemia and time-in-zone”, to be chaired by Kelly Close, with Daniela Rojas (Costa Rica), Simon Heller (UK), and Bart Van der Schueren (Belgium). Dr Wientjens lived with diabetes from 1951 until his passing in 2016. He was a staunch champion for people with diabetes, and in his last years focused his advocacy on hypoglycemia. Presentations about the personal impact of severe low BG, impaired hypoglycemia unawareness, and time-in-zone as a new endpoint beyond HbA1c will allow us to honor Wim’s legacy.

In the past five years, the #WeAreNotWaiting movement has impacted the lives of thousands of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) around the world. OpenAPS (Open Artificial Pancreas System) gives anyone with compatible medical devices who is willing to build their own system the tools to have basic overnight closed loop APS technology. Renza Scibilia will moderate a debate that will likely be standing room-only: Dana Lewis (creator of the OpenAPS) and Annie Astle (a UK mother of a child with T1D) will argue for the rationale built into #WeAreNotWaiting versus “why are we waiting” regarding diabetes technology.

From shame and blame to living with diabetes “in the closet”—the stigma of diabetes is very real and keeps people with diabetes from realizing their full potential. I will have the honor of chairing a symposium about the stigma surrounding diabetes. Rivers Solomon (UK) and Mohammad AlBahar (Kuwait) will share the European and Middle-Eastern perspectives, and Sama Ajmal (Pakistan) will focus on the topic from the point of view of young women in the developing world.

The LWD stream will also touch on emotional and mental health aspects of life with diabetes and the importance of peer-to-peer support; dive into how language matters when speaking to and about people with diabetes; and explore diabetes tools and apps… all from the perspective of people with diabetes.

I look forward to seeing you in Abu Dhabi. If you see me roaming around the Convention Center, don’t hesitate to say “HOLA!”

Manny Hernandez (@askmanny) is the Living with Diabetes, Stream Lead. He was born in Venezuela and has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002.
Manny co-founded TuDiabetes.org and EsTuDiabetes.org in 2007 and is currently Senior Vice President of Member Experience at Livongo Health.

Diabetes in Women and Children

Hak Chul Jang

Hyperglycaemia in pregnancy includes both gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and diabetes mellitus in pregnancy. IDF estimates that 20.9 million or 16.2% of live births to women had some form of hyperglycaemia in pregnancy worldwide in 2015. GDM is one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders during pregnancy. Women with GDM have an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and both mothers and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, women with past GDM also have higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases in later life.

The Diabetes in Women and Children (DWC) Stream for the IDF Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi will provide programs covering several important issues including detection and diagnosis of GDM, update of diabetic pregnancy management, prevention of GDM in women with high risk, prevention of type 2 diabetes and /or cardiometabolic syndrome in women with past GDM, and long-term complications of offspring of women with diabetes. One highlight will be the IDF Congress 2017 Award Lecture given by Professor Boyd Metzger, the primary investigator of the HAPO study. He will discuss the challenges in the diagnosis of GDM. Further recognizing the emerging controversy of diagnosis of GDM, the IDF–International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) joint symposium and special session for the diagnosis and management of GDM in low-resourced settings will be held.

Our program offers sessions covering reproductive issues for women living with diabetes including discussions on contraception, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause. As medical services using ICT-devices have been developed to improve diabetes management, we will explore the “Role of ICT and mHealthcare in diabetic pregnancy” along with recent updates of medical nutritional therapy and pharmacological treatment during pregnancy.

The management of children and adolescents with type 1 or type 2 diabetes will be presented and discussed in an open session of the DWC stream. The International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) lecture entitled, Perils of the postpubertal period, will be given by Joseph Wolfsdorf, MD, BCh, Director of the Diabetes Program at Boston Children’s Hospital (USA).

Hak Chul Jang is a Professor of the Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Stream Lead for Diabetes in Women and Children.

Diabetes in Society and Culture

Massimo Massi Benedetti

The Diabetes in Society and Culture (DSC) Stream is designed to stimulate the IDF community to consider the impact on diabetes of environmental and cultural factors in a wide advanced perspective through sessions dealing with:

  • Primary and secondary prevention.
  • Scientific methodologies for real life evidence.
  • Relationship between diabetes and beliefs.
  • Partnership with service organisations.
  • Role of public and private partnership.
  • Integration of people with diabetes in the society.
  • Relationship between migrants and host societies.

Primary and secondary prevention are most frequently approached with traditional clinical trials which evaluate the impact of a restricted, selected number of environmental and behavioural factors in (more or less) ample cohorts. Their value is undeniable to prove the concept of prevention. However, an unpredictable number of factors which vary and have a different impact in diverse environments, societies and cultures has a relevant effect on the implementation of real life preventive programs at the population level. Appropriate and robust scientific methodologies need to be adopted and possibly developed to design, monitor and provide evidence of the outcomes of population based interventions. These issues will be dealt with in Session 1: The role of society in primary prevention of diabetes: Health in all policies; Session 2: The role of society in secondary prevention of diabetes: cultural and socio-economic factors; and in Session 3: Real life evidence and value based diabetes care.

The DSC session on Diabetes and beliefs highlights examples on how beliefs, and not only religious ones, can influence the lives of people with diabetes. Much has already been said about diabetes and Ramadan, while little attention is paid to food and beliefs generally especially regarding the growing diffused attitudes towards nutrition. Additionally, the role of traditional healers, evaluated with appropriate scientific methodologies, is proven to represent a valuable resource in environments where modern healthcare has objective difficulties to penetrate.

The open forum on Service organizations and foundations should motivate the IDF community to establish more structured partnership with independent humanitarian agencies not only to increase the availability of economic resources but also, and possibly more importantly, to take advantage of their cultural background and networks to increase awareness on diabetes in various societies throughout the world.

The debate on the Public-private partnership should represent an opportunity for IDF to re-evaluate its relationships with public or private partners having in mind old and new prejudices. Caveats and opportunities are to be evaluated objectively to select the right partner for any specific initiative by taking advantage of newly prevailing doctrines in economy within the frame of the sustainable development Concept

The Symposium on Integration of people with diabetes in the society deals with an issue that is deeply relevant in the daily life of people with diabetes. Administrative and at work place discrimination is well known, however more subtle forms of discrimination undermine the daily life of people with diabetes with different expressions and perceptions in different cultures generating reduced self-esteem and resilience.

The topic of Migrants is of high relevance in our world today. However, the DSC program is subdivided into one, the burning condition of “refugees” which is being considered in a specific stream and two, the condition of “legal” migrants who find difficulties in long-term full integration into the new country of residence. This is of particular relevance for people with diabetes as they might experience difficulties with language, nutritional behaviours, beliefs and more which may interfere with diabetes management and control.

Massimo Massi Benedetti is President and Scientific Director, Hub for International Health ReSearch HIRS, IDF Senior Programme Advisor and Stream Lead for Diabetes in Society and Culture.

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