Final Wrap Up of the American Diabetes Association’s 71st Scientific Sessions
This morning, Robert Henry, MD, President of Medicine and Science of the American Diabetes Association, took us on a trip down memory lane to demonstrate just how far the diabetes community has come in its understanding of the disease. He recalled the days when only beef, pork and combined beef-pork insulin in glass syringes were available. Since then, there have been countless discoveries and developments that have improved the lives of people with diabetes. This is duly noted in how the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – the bible for diabetes care – went from four pages and 20 references in 1999 to 51 pages and 395 references today. It truly is an exciting time for the field of diabetes with so many scientific breakthroughs emerging. Just think someday soon, people with diabetes may have access to an artificial pancreas.
Following Dr. Henry’s remarks, Barbara Corkey, PhD, who was awarded the Banting Medal for Outstanding Achievement Award, also commended the field for its progress. But, on the flip side, she also challenged the field to think outside the box and question the accepted. The inquisitive Dr. Corkey posed her own question, “Where can we find blame in the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes?” This questioning stems from the idea that the role of diet and physical activity has been researched, but interventions have not yet slowed the growth of diabetes. So, according to Dr. Corkey, our food may be a culprit as it is different today with more processed foods, an increase in food animals’ weight, the use of more food enhancers, etc. Or perhaps it’s the ever-changing environment. While scientists haven’t figured out the answer yet, we hope they will keep plugging along.
This afternoon there was excitement in the Sails Pavilion, as meeting goers had the chance to meet Chris Dudley, former NBA basketball player and person living with type 1 diabetes at the Dribble to Stop Diabetes event. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Dribble to Stop Diabetes is a national campaign designed to encourage fans to live an active, healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about diabetes prevention, management, and the potentially serious health complications that can be associated with the disease. Throughout the weekend, the program hosted a fundraiser with proceeds going to the YMCA of San Diego County. Partner representatives, including our own Dennis Urbaniak, Head of Diabetes, sanofi-aventis U.S., and Larry Hausner, CEO of the American Diabetes Association, were on hand to present the check to Shelly McTighe-Rippengale, VP of Marketing, Communications and Development of the YMCA of San Diego County.
In yesterday’s post, we discussed some of the new ways to reach patients through technology. Today we took it a step further. We learned about the cost-effectiveness of some of these modalities in reducing risk for diabetes in overweight people in a rural area. In this specific study, REACT (Rethinking Eating and ACTivity), face to face interventions appeared to be a sound investment among the modalities studied (face to face, DVD, Internet), and may be economically reasonable compared to no intervention strategy.
All in all, it was a great meeting. We really enjoyed hearing about the latest research and innovations and, of course, meeting some of you. We look forward to the year ahead with hope and anticipation for the next breakthrough.
All the best, Laura K.