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The 2018 American Diabetes Association – What a Quick Ride

Jul 03, 2018

Before I drive into this month’s blog, let me go back to December 2017. I am sitting in my office and catching up on email for the afternoon. I got to one email from Joni Beck, PharmD. My first thought was “why is Joni Beck sending me an email”; I opened the message and read about an invitation to speak at the American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions. Immediately, I thought “Is this legit?” and “This cannot be real! She must have meant to email another Jennifer.” She also sent an attachment with the email, which provided validation for a formal invitation to speak as one of the five presenters for “Obesity in Type 1 Diabetes – An Evolving Challenge.” Honestly, I was taken aback but also humbled and honored to be invited to speak with nationally and internationally-known individuals in the diabetes world. 

Fast forward to now, and the 2018 American Diabetes Association (ADA) 78th Scientific Sessions has come and gone. I have been to other conferences with presentations focused on diabetes education and management as well as AADE’s annual meeting. At the ADA Scientific Sessions conference, I was completely in awe of the number of attendees, especially from various countries. I recall standing for an evening dinner, and seeing attendees’ nametags with locations from Macedonia, Spain, Belgium, China, Pakistan, France, United Kingdom, and many others. I was also blown away by the amount of information that could be obtained from this meeting, and extremely impressed with the different categories for poster presentations. Lastly, I tried to attend presentations outside of the pharmacy setting.

Here are the presentations I was able to attend:

Sunday, June 24, 2018

  • Enhancing the Use of Diabetes Prevention and Cardiovascular Risk Factor Control
  • President, Medicine & Science Address and Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement
  • Ordering from the Weight-Loss Menu in the Era of Precision Medicine for Obesity
  • Low-Carbohydrate Diets – Potential Benefits, Risks, and Costs
  • Pointed Discussions: Clinical conversations about reducing cardiovascular risks in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus using newer options in injectable antihyperglycemic therapy

Monday, June 25, 2018

  • SGLT2 Inhibitors – From Mechanisms to Clinical Trials (With ADA Presidents' Select Abstract)
  • Product Theater on Repatha
  • Product Theater on Steglatro
  • Nutrition 2018 - New Data, New Perspective
  • Using mHealth for Obesity Treatment and Weight Management

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, I presented on the “Pharmacotherapy of Obesity in Type 1 Diabetes” as the fourth presenter of the symposium. Here are some highlights from the symposium:

  • Epidemiology and Physiology
    • Severe obesity is 2 times higher in rural areas.
    • Severe obesity is 4 times higher among men in rural areas.
    • Severe obesity is 2 times higher in rural areas.
    • Severe obesity is 4 times higher among men in rural areas.
    • One in every four teenage boys eats pizza every day.
    • All age groups consume more added sugars.
    • No one is meeting physical activity guidelines.
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity Recommendations
    • Riddle et al published evidence on the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on glucose levels.
  • Challenges of Insulin Therapy on Weight
    • Dr. Russell-Jones provided a great review of the evidence, but I was in complete awe that it was THE Dr. Russell-Jones, who has published many articles on diabetes management.
  • Pharmacotherapy of Obesity in Type 1 Diabetes
    • This was my presentation; honestly, there is a lot of evidence – more than I realized – but I could only cover 36 primary literature articles in approximately 15 minutes, as I needed to include a patient case within my presentation.
  • Bariatric Surgery in Type 1 Diabetes
    • Yes, there is evidence.
    • Even though it was shown at an extremely fast speed, it was awesome to see the procedures on the screen.

After attending this meeting, I hope to become an ADA member in the future and attend another ADA Scientific Sessions. Thank you for reading my quick trip to Orlando for the ADA’s conference. If you have ever attended the ADA Scientific Sessions, please share your favorite moments from the conference along with the year and location of the conference you attended.​​


Jennifer Clements

About the Author

Jennifer Clements received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Campbell University in 2006 and completed a primary care residency at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2007. She is also a certified diabetes educator and board certified in pharmacotherapy. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.

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