American Diabetes Association

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Experts and trainees discussed novel developments in diabetes research.
Posted On: November 19, 2018
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Conference attendee and Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Yuliya Lytvyn (pictured) works in the laboratory of Toronto General Hospital Research Institute Scientist Dr. David Cherney at University Health Network.

Conference: American Diabetes Association (ADA) – 78th Scientific Sessions, June 22-26, Orlando, Florida, United States of America.

Conference Highlight: ADA Scientific Sessions brought together over 14,000 attendees to share novel discoveries and network with experts within diabetes research.

Conference Summary: There were about 900 speakers discussing a range of topics at this year’s conference. One of the sessions focused on repurposing medications used in Type 2 diabetes for patients with Type 1 diabetes. Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are typically used for blood sugar management in patients with type 2 diabetes. These medications were shown to decrease cardiovascular related mortality, all-cause mortality, hospitalization for heart failure and improved renal outcomes. SGLT2i may also help improve health outcomes for patients with Type 1 diabetes. Some studies tested this and the results showed significant improvement in blood sugar levels, a decrease in weight and insulin doses, however there was an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. Although much work still needs to be done, SGLT2i may offer an important adjunct therapy for people with type 1 diabetes who are consistently not in their target blood sugar range. Moreover, a number of studies presented at ADA indicate the potential role of SGLT2i in renal and cardiovascular protection suggesting that it may also be used in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Another session presented the evidence from a 15-year longitudinal study that showed that intensive glucose control (keeping patient’s A1C <6.0%) reduced a 10-year risk of cardiovascular events compared to patients on standard glucose control (keeping A1C 8.0-9.0%). Interestingly, improvement in cardiovascular outcomes were lost at the 15-year follow-up, suggesting that blood sugar lowering needed to be maintained to continue observing positive outcomes.

Overall, this conference served as a great platform to network with research experts and learn about the growth in diabetes research.