Updates from Our 77th Scientific Sessions

Now in its 77th year, the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions brings together the world’s best and brightest minds to share cutting-edge research on nearly every aspect of diabetes. This year, the convention was held from June 9 through 13 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Whether you’re a person with diabetes or taking care of a family member with the disease, or a health care provider or researcher, what happens at the Scientific Sessions matters. Many of the breakthroughs shared at the meeting are important first steps in future diabetes treatment, care and innovation.

Attendees mark their home countries on our world map

The five-day meeting drew nearly 17,000 researchers, physicians and health care professionals from the United States and around the world to discuss the latest and most important research findings – from basic science to clinical care. Highlights from this year include:

  • 380 oral presentations of research data in 49 oral sessions for a total of 348 hours of presentation time
  • 2,228 poster presentations (poster displays of research information). If you were to walk the entire set of posters, it would stretch more than 2.75 miles!

The meeting program was grouped into eight interest areas ranging from Acute and Chronic Complications to Islet Biology/Insulin Secretion. These findings will help improve our understanding and treatment of diabetes, and will launch a new wave of diabetes research.

Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. The severity of its complications and the high costs required to care for people with diabetes impacts individuals and their families, as well as our health infrastructure and economy.

Top diabetes facts:

  • 29.1 million Americans have diabetes
  • Of those 29.1 million, 8.1 million are undiagnosed
  • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes
  • 86 million Americans have prediabetes, putting them at high risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States

Friday, June 9

Dr. William Cefalu meets with scientists in our Pathway to Stop Diabetes program

Friday welcomed attendees and presenters to San Diego for Day 1 of Scientific Sessions. Research highlights included:

Overweight Boys Who Return to Normal Weight Before Young Adulthood Eliminate Increased Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes as Adults: Typically, being overweight in childhood and young adulthood is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes as you get older. This study examined the possible connections between overweight patterns in childhood, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Severe Obesity in High-Risk Youth Correlates Directly to Increased Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: Obesity is a serious health problem among youth, especially in populations at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Research showed the risk of developing type 2 by age 20 was 12 times as high in severely obese American Indian children 5 to 9 years of age as the risk for normal-weight youth in the same age range.

Increased Risk of Depression, Anxiety and Disordered Eating for People with Diabetes—Psychosocial Care is Key: People with diabetes manage a complex and demanding daily treatment regimen, and are at increased risk for depression, anxiety and disordered eating, as well as diabetes distress, all of which can compromise health outcomes and quality of life. A new initiative was launched at Scientific Sessions in collaboration with the American Psychological Association to provide detailed education for mental health providers on psychosocial care of people with diabetes. In addition, there were two notable research studies focused on various psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes are highlighted here.

Saturday, June 10

Attendees outside the convention center

A Two-Way Text Messaging System Benefits Glycemic Control for Teens with Type 1 Diabetes: In a study released Saturday, teens with type 1 who used a two-way text messaging system reminding them to check blood glucose levels maintained or improved their A1C levels.

American Diabetes Association President, Health Care & Education, praises the Diabetes Prevention Program: Brenda Montgomery, RN, MSHS, CDE, spoke on the how the Diabetes Prevention Program improves the lives of those with diabetes and prediabetes. Also presented were the Association’s significant efforts, based on the findings of the DPP, to support, disseminate and advocate for diabetes prevention programs. Read more about Brenda Montgomery’s address here: http://www.adadaily.org/2017/06/11/diabetes-prevention-program/.

Sunday, June 11

Medication That Inhibits PCSK9 Safely Reduces Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: People with diabetes are more prone to have abnormal cholesterol levels, which can result in increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cholesterol levels in the blood are modulated by the liver. Receptors on the liver bind cholesterol and allow it to be broken down. PCSK-9 is a protein that is known to reduce the activity of these receptors. New research shows that the medication alirocumab, a PCSK9 inhibitor, reduces cholesterol levels as well as non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Long-Term Metformin Treatment Found to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: A study released Sunday shows that metformin may be an effective long-term strategy to consider adding to an individual’s diabetes care plan in order to reduce the risk of heart disease in adults with type 1 diabetes.

Monday, June 12

Autoantigen GAD-Vaccine is Safe for Children at High Risk for Developing Type 1 Diabetes: Glutamate decarboxylase, or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), is an enzyme that is targeted by autoantibodies in people who later develop type 1 diabetes. This double-blind, randomized, investigator-initiated study was conducted to determine the safety and the efficacy of alum-formulated GAD65 (Alum-GAD), on the progression to type 1 diabetes in children with ongoing persistent beta-cell autoimmunity as indicated by multiple positive islet cell autoantibodies. While the study confirmed that Alum-GAD was safe for children, the onset of diabetes was not delayed or prevented. This study’s results can help inform future research on the efficacy of GAD agents to delay or prevent diabetes.

Mustafa Tosur, MD, during Press Conference: Health Disparities in Diabetes

Health Disparities Among Patients with Diabetes Can Be Improved by New Approaches and Insights: Health disparities in the U.S., including inequalities in the delivery of care and access to care across various racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, are of widespread concern, particularly for people with diabetes, who require continuous, regular health care to effectively manage their disease. Three studies highlighted ways to potentially decrease health disparities among people with diabetes were presented.

New, Long-Acting Insulin Therapy Demonstrates Cardiovascular Safety and Reduces the Risk of Severe Hypoglycemia: A new, ultra-long acting insulin product, insulin degludec, has comparable cardiovascular safety to insulin glargine U100 and is also associated with significant reductions in severe hypoglycemia, investigators presented during a symposium on Monday.

Hybrid Closed-Loop System Demonstrates Effectiveness in Controlling Glucose Levels in Children and Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: For people with type 1 diabetes, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices provide around-the-clock information on blood glucose levels. Insulin pumps allow insulin to be administered subcutaneously throughout the day. Over the recent past, researchers combined the technology of CGM and insulin pumps to form closed-loop systems, which allow people with diabetes to receive insulin through a pump continuously throughout the day and night based on the glucose measurements provided every five minutes by the CGM. The performance of closed-loop systems and their ability to prevent hypoglycemia is highlighted in two studies presented Monday.

Structured Care Program Offers Youth with Type 1 Diabetes Improved Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care: A new study found that adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes were able to benefit from a structured transition program when changing from pediatric to adult diabetes care, resulting in improvements in clinic attendance and satisfaction, as well as decreased emotional burden for the duration of the program.

Tuesday, June 13

Glucagon-Blocking Drug Reduces Need for Insulin and Improves Blood Glucose Levels for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes: Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas that raises blood glucose and works together with insulin, which has the opposite effect, to tightly regulate blood glucose concentrations. In individuals with diabetes, glucagon effects may not be appropriately balanced by insulin, resulting in elevated blood glucose. Research released Tuesday indicates that a single dose of the currently unreleased glucagon-blocking drug REMD-477 can substantially reduce the amount of insulin needed and improve glucose levels without increasing hypoglycemia(low blood glucose levels) in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Attendees during a session on SGLT2 Inhibitors

SGLT2 Inhibitors are Associated with Reduced Cardiovascular Disease for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A specific class of medication, known as sodium-glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, is associated with lower rates of death and hospitalization for heart failure when used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the study “Hospitalization for Heart Failure and Death in New Users of SGLT2 Inhibitors in Patients With and Without Cardiovascular Disease”.

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2 Responses to Updates from Our 77th Scientific Sessions

  1. Pingback: Updates from Our 77th Scientific Sessions

  2. Joe Rassam says:

    It’s great to hear of the progress being made and work being done to minimize this disease.

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