News and insights brought to you by the International Diabetes Federation

The annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference in Hamburg on 2-6 October brought together global experts to share findings in diabetes research. From new treatment options to societal impacts, the presentations at EASD 2023 will shape the future of diabetes management.

Experts suggest changing type 2 diabetes diagnosis for women under 50

Research suggests that the diagnosis threshold for type 2 diabetes in women under 50 should be lowered due to the potential impact of menstruation on blood sugar management. In this new study, the authors investigated whether natural blood loss due to menstruation can affect blood sugar levels and, consequently, glycated haemoglobin levels (HbA1c). Women are often diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a later age than men. Later diagnosis means women are less likely to receive treatment, lifestyle interventions and medication such as statins, aspirin and beta blockers. More on the topic

New research finds link between food insecurity and severe hypoglycaemia

An analysis of data from the US revealed that people with diabetes facing food insecurity were 2.2 times more likely to experience severe hypoglycaemia. This occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels drop so low that it causes loss of consciousness, seizures, coma and, in rare cases, even death. About one in five people who participated in the study had experienced food insecurity, highlighting the need for public health strategies to address this issue, given the escalating cost of living, both in the US and globally. More on the topic

Worldwide audit shows testosterone therapy can help men manage type 2 diabetes

A new study suggests that testosterone therapy can benefit men with type 2 diabetes. Researchers reported that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) improved glycaemic control in men for up to 2 years. They also noted that testosterone therapy can benefit women with type 2 diabetes and people with obesity. In the ongoing study, men who received testosterone therapy showed decreased HbA1c levels over 3, 12 and 24 months. The data is from an audit conducted by the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) in 37 clinical practice centres in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and Vietnam. More on the topic

Study reveals a unique trajectory before a type 2 diabetes diagnosis

Although scientific advancements allow for identifying genetic and non-genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes, a person’s long-term medical history before and after diagnosis could provide additional insights. Researchers in the UK noticed that before a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, people experienced similar ailments, specifically high blood pressure, respiratory tract infections, heart conditions, asthma and eye, nose and throat infections. Understanding the long-term clinical history of type 2 diabetes years before diagnosis could provide a predictive tool for people at risk and enable them to make preventative lifestyle changes. More on the topic

Is lasting remission of type 2 diabetes feasible in the real-world setting?

In this debate, Prof Roy Taylor used evidence from a series of studies in which people with type 2 diabetes were put on low-calorie diets to show that lasting remission of type 2 diabetes is feasible in the real world, provided that sufficient support is given to avoid weight regain. In response, Prof Kamlesh Khunti explained that remission through lifestyle interventions, including low-calorie diets, has been tested in several studies, but these showed that behaviour change is difficult to maintain in the long term. He suggested that a revision of the current definition of remission may make this more achievable for more people in the real world. More on the topic

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