At the recent American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions, in San Diego on 23-26 June, the diabetes community received the latest updates to the ADA Standards of Care in Diabetes. These include the use of the immunotherapy medicine teplizumab and the screening and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Teplizumab: screening and access to treatment
Key findings from teplizumab clinical trials in the US show delayed onset of type 1 diabetes by an average of three years. Since the discovery of insulin over 100 years ago, people with type 1 diabetes have relied on therapeutic insulin to survive. The immunotherapy medicine, teplizumab, tackles the autoimmune causes and represents a significant change in how people will live with the condition.
The ADA Standards of Care in Diabetes 2023 provide healthcare professionals with the most recent evidence-based recommendations on using teplizumab to slow down the progression of type 1 diabetes. The updated guidelines refine the diagnostic criteria for screening people for type 1 diabetes, which means that people presenting antibodies could access the treatment to delay onset. Additionally, teplizumab will be included in treatment to prevent or delay the development of type 1 diabetes in adults and children at high risk.
While we do not know the exact cause of type 1 diabetes, research has shown a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If a close family member has type 1 diabetes, there is a slightly increased risk of another family member developing it. However, many people diagnosed with the condition have no family history of diabetes.
Early diagnosis of NAFLD for improved health outcomes
People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing diabetes-related complications, including liver disease, which affects up to 70% of people with diabetes type 2 diabetes. Liver disease can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Early detection allows timely treatment, reducing the chance of developing other serious complications.
The ADA Standards of Care in Diabetes 2023 favour early detection through screening all adults with type 2 diabetes or at risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Furthermore, they provide healthcare professionals with accurate and up-to-date information to manage liver disease in people with diabetes for improved health outcomes.