At least 17 speakers at the conference are sharing the latest developments and best practices in managing the disease Image Credit: Mubadala Health

Abu Dhabi: Latest advancements and challenges in diabetes care are being discussed by global and local experts at the Mubadala Health Diabetes Conference in Abu Dhabi.

The two-day event, which started yesterday (Sunday), is being held in conjunction with Diabetes Awareness Month (November) and in anticipation of World Diabetes Day (November 14). The Conference is sponsored by the Imperial College London Diabetes Center and the HealthPlus Diabetes and Endocrinology Center.

In his opening speech, Dr Mohammed Al-Khatib, Conference Chairman, Medical Director, and Internal Medicine, Diabetes and Endocrinology Consultant, at HealthPlus Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, said: “It was my honour to welcome delegates to the conference today and as always, I am impressed by the calibre of attendees. Today’s sessions saw spirited debate and fresh, groundbreaking insights being aired.”

Professor Maha Barakat, Assistant Minister for Health and Life Sciences at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: “This is a significant annual event aimed at informing the diabetes community about the latest advancements in diabetes healthcare, encompassing various aspects such as blood sugar management, complications, prevention and treatment, gestational diabetes, and care for patients of all ages.”

She added: “During my presentation, I will provide an overview of the most recent guidelines in alignment with the American Diabetes Association’s standard of care, which were published in January of this year.”

The day also featured four parallel workshops that provided attendees with the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from experts in the field. These workshops focused on cases from the diabetes type 1 clinic, cases from the diabetes type 2 clinic, and cases from the obesity and lipid clinic.

Prof Karim Meeran, Professor of Endocrinology, Imperial College London, UK chaired a debate on the role of technology versus pharmacology in Type 2 Diabetes management in the era of twincretins.

Meanwhile, Prof Kevin Murphy Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Imperial College London, UK, shared his expertise on how dietary choices can impact the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Preventive role of diet

He said: “Our current focus is primarily directed towards investigating the prevention of diabetes through dietary manipulation rather than pharmaceutical intervention. In this regard, we have generated a substantial body of research that identifies foods beneficial for glucose control.”

The professor continued: “This research has the potential to play a preventative role in the development of metabolic diseases later in life. Furthermore, we have conducted studies right here in Abu Dhabi to understand how protein intake can enhance insulin production, subsequently aiding in the management of blood glucose levels. This work has found that the response to protein is intact in individuals with impaired fasting glucose tolerance, who are at risk of developing diabetes, and therefore may be useful in reducing their future disease risk.

“Our aspiration for the future is to empower patients to make informed dietary choices that can effectively manage glucose levels, potentially preventing diabetes and mitigating the risk of metabolic diseases.”

Dr Adam Buckley Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre Abu Dhabi, looked into glucose monitoring and target setting, especially in situations where the HbA1c measurement may be unreliable in the Gulf population.

Dr Mustafa Khan, Medical Director of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, said: “Imperial College London Diabetes Centre is collaborating with HealthPlus Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre to bring to the healthcare community an engaging conference on advancements in diabetes care. As the leading expert on diabetes in the country, we are proud to organise this event in support of accelerating better diabetes management practices. Through our affiliation with Imperial College London, we are delighted to have renowned international experts join us in this endeavour, and eager to see how the sessions featured in the conference will translate to real-life success stories.”

Dr Tarek Faid, Consultant Endocrinologist at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Abu Dhabi, focused on the importance of early A1C measurement and weight control in Type 2 Diabetes management, with a special emphasis on Tirzepatide.

Wrapping up the day’s proceedings, Dr Lyndon Marc Evans, Consultant Diabetologist at Cardiff University UK, gave his presentation on the interconnectivity of Cardio-Renal Metabolic conditions, citing the latest clinical evidence to underscore the importance of holistic care.

Day Two of the conference is encompassing topics such as the prevention and treatment of Diabetic Kidney Disease and a comprehensive view of diabetes from an endocrine perspective.