EASD 2023: a quick rundown
This week I've been following the news from EASD 2023, a major diabetes conference, and here's what caught my attention (along with all the links) as a person with #T1D👇.
1. Diabetes Stigma is awful
There is a global movement underway to pledge an end to diabetes stigma. I've taken it, EASD has taken it, lots of organisations and people within the diabetes community have taken it too. Next we need people and organisations outside the diabetes community to take the pledge!
Please spread the word, sign up to the pledge here if you haven't already.
Here's just one of many reminders from the week why this is needed:
2. Diabetes Distress has a new measurement tool
This new measurement tool called the Diabetes Distress Assessment System has versions for type 1 and type 2 and factors in both the overall level of distress and the causes.
You can access the website here for more information about this.
3. Hybrid closed loops (HCL) are getting amazing results
As these tools are becoming more widely used, the evidence base is growing for their effectiveness. Time in range seems to be pretty consistently settling in the 70-80% range no matter what system is being used, and no matter what country. I use one of these systems and it has been life changing.
From the Medtronic presentation:
From the Omnipod presentation:
4. Better pregnancy outcomes for T1D mums using HCL
Evidence was presented on the benefits of using HCL during pregnancy – significant improvements in material glycaemic control reported from the AiDAPT trial. These results could impact clinical guidelines going forward.
5. Tech will keep getting better and fully close the loop
Things being worked on are dual hormone pumps with insulin and glucagon (currently not appealing to wear IMO), have a look at the photo in this thread:
And improving algorithms to remove the need for carb counting and meal announcements. Here's just one example:
Exciting times ahead!
6. Once weekly insulins could reduce the burden for those on MDI
Evidence was presented on using once weekly basal injections (rather than daily) and although there were more hypos it was only slightly more. Most people with T1D across the world are still on injections so this could catch on…
7. Beta cell research is driving a path to a “functional cure”
What if we can restore the ability of people with type 1 to make their own insulin? That’s what people are working on and exciting progress is being made by the likes of Vertex and Sernova…a very hot research topic right now.
Beta cell research generally is providing all sorts of interesting insights:
One big challenge is how to make this research understandable to non scientific audiences!
I don't think many lay people could get their heads around things like this!
8. Nuggets of actionable insight to use now as a PWD
Some interesting presentations on nutrition. Did you know that if you eat your carbs last, the blood sugar spike after eating is reduced?
9. Lovely to see researchers celebrated
One of the pioneers of hybrid closed looping, Roman Hovorka of the University of Cambridge received the Novo Nordisk Prize for Scientific Excellence in Diabetes Research.
Great to see Elisa De Franco from Exeter (where I live!) also recognised for her work on genetic causes of neonatal diabetes.
10. Patient voice is loud and welcome at EASD
Patient voices (especially #dedoc) made a huge splash across social media, actively sharing conference insights and stimulating discussions. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to access all of the information above as a non attendee this year.
I haven't covered other big themes like complications, T2D, policy and inequality, and the list goes on, but these scientific conferences are so vast that it's unrealistic to absorb all of the output, especially as an outside observer. If there are specific topics you are interested in having covered next time, let me know 😊.
🐶😺 In amongst all the good stuff this week, someone thought it would be a good idea to use EASD to launch their "CGM for pets" product. In a world where people with diabetes are struggling to access this essential technology, that was a pretty tone deaf move. Hopefully no more of that at future diabetes conferences 🤞.
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Thanks for reading!