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Australasian Diabetes Congress 2018

The Australasian Diabetes Congress was held this year from 22–24 August 2018 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The Australasian Diabetes Congress is a premier event for all health professionals specializing in diabetes, working with people with diabetes or having an interest in diabetes.

This was also a very exciting event for Diabetes SA, as we had an information stand in the exhibition hall, with the potential of reaching lots of health professionals working in the field. Five of our abstracts were accepted, resulting in three poster presentations and two oral presentations.

Click here to see photos from the Congress.

ADEA oral presentations

Diabetes SA had two oral presentations on Thursday 23 August, providing an update about recent work undertaken by the health services team in the culturally and linguistically diverse area, and sick day management in correctional facilities. 

Claire Oliver, Diabetes SA: The learning styles of diabetes education for culturally diverse health care workers and professionals in various cultural primary care settings: the learning from experiences.


Fiona Benton, Diabetes SA: A recommendation for sick day management of adults with diabetes in a correctional facility


Highlights from the Australasian Diabetes Congress 

ADS Clinical Symposium – Development and Implementation of the South Australian Aboriginal Diabetes Strategy (by Trish Evans, Diabetes Educator)

I had the privilege of listening to Kim Morey from Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at SAHMRI on North Terrace discuss the Development and implementation of the South Australian Aboriginal Diabetes Strategy 2017-2021.

The vision of this strategy is to lessen the burden of type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal people, their families and communities. Kim discussed the disparity of 10 years in life expectancy in Aboriginal people and chronic disease is the leading cause of this.

Highlighting Aboriginal people live with diabetes '2 times the rate of the general population'.

Kim outlined the six high level goals to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes in the Aboriginal population in the next 5 years:

  1. Reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
  2. Detect type 2 diabetes early
  3. Improve diabetes care and reduce its complications
  4. Reduce the impact and incidence of diabetes in pregnancy
  5. Reduce the incidence of and better manage type 2 diabetes among priority groups
  6. Strengthen research, data usage and population health monitoring

This Strategy has been developed by Aboriginal people and has been planned to meet the needs of Aboriginal people who live in South Australia. Click here for more information.

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – ADS and ADEA Scientific meeting – Consumers Co-design (by Cathy Whiteley APD)

The ADEA Symposium session on consumers co-design was a fantastic session to highlight the importance of the principles of designing diabetes services and resources with people living with diabetes. The term co-design was coined for consumer involvement in developing services from beginning to end.

It focussed on 'Nothing about us without us' active involvement of consumers setting priorities in design, implementation and evaluation. Presenters were a combination of health professionals and peer supporters working together with the aim to make diabetes less stressful.

The resounding message was that people living with diabetes need to be seen as the experts, sharing their own narrative and the reality of life with diabetes. Together with co-design, this session also had a strong focus on the language used in diabetes stressing that to change the perception of diabetes, language matters.

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – ADS/ADEA Joint Clinical Symposium – Exercise as medicine – Nutritional management of exercise in type 1 diabetes (by Anissia Fairlie APD)

I had the opportunity to attend Dr Carmel Smart's presentation on exercise and type 1 diabetes. She discussed the importance of adequate nutrition, hydration and insulin adjustment before, during and after exercise to optimise performance, recovery and safety.

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – The Dark Side of Diabetes (by Kimberley Zerk, Diabetes Educator)

The Dark Side of Diabetes, conducted by Prof Jonathan Shaw, head of Clinical Diabetes at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute explored diabetes-related-cardiovascular complications. CVD is the most important complication of type 2 diabetes. The risk for the development of CVD is even more pronounced in women, those with early-onset diabetes (before 40 years of age), and Indigenous Australians. However, interventions that can significantly reduce cardiovascular risk. Click here to view this report.

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – Clinical Management of Diabetes Neuropathy (by Kimberley Zerk, Diabetes Educator)

Eva Feldman, Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan discussed the Clinical management of diabetic neuropathy in Pre-diabetes and diabetes. She stated that it has long been suspected that glycaemic management, while being a crucial factor in diabetic peripheral neuropathy, is not the only one. Her research has shown that Metabolic syndrome, prompted by obesity and a driver of dyslipidemia, also has a considerable impact. In fact, her study showed that obesity alone can cause neuropathy.

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – ADEA Kidney Health in Diabetes – Connecting Chronic Kidney Disease: the link with Diabetes (by Claire Oliver, APD)

Shilpa Jesudason provided a vibrant and practical session highlighting the importance of kidneys and their link with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The main take-home message for me from this presentation was to think more about the kidneys, as diabetes is the leading cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Showcase – Optimising mealtime insulin bolusing algorithms (by Claire Oliver, APD)

Kristine Bell provided an overview of her current research into the effect of fat intake on glycaemic response. Kristine presented some emerging data on how the amount of fat in a meal may significantly affect blood glucose response and considerations for insulin adjustments depending on the nutritional composition of a meal.

Australian Diabetes Congress 2018 – ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Showcase – Not scared of sugar (by Claire Oliver, APD)

Tammie Choi presented interesting information on the delivery of a diabetes program to a Chinese community. Tammie included humorous anecdotes from her own experience as an Australian-trained Dietitian from a Chinese background. The focus was on the delivery style of this program and some key messages for clinicians to consider when providing information to someone from a Chinese background. This is a considerably different approach to how many other cultures prefer to receive information and their involvement in their healthcare.