American Diabetes Association, June 3-7

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The annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association was held this year from June 3 to 7 in New Orleans and attracted more than 15,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in diabetes. The conference highlighted the latest advances in diabetes research and improving patient care, with presentations focusing on treatment recommendations and advances in management technology.

In one study, Elizabeth Lundeen, Ph.D., of the Vision Health Initiative (VHI) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues found that declines in vision impairment among individuals aged 18 years or older with diabetes plateaued during 2012.

The CDC VHI works to improve vision health in the United States through collaborations with state and national partners to strengthen science and develop interventions that promote eye health and prevent vision loss and blindness in groups at high risk. For this study, the authors examined data from 52,000 respondents, 18 years and older, with diagnosed diabetes, using self-reported data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey during a 20-year period from 1999 through 2018. The researchers found that the prevalence of vision impairment among individuals with diabetes decreased significantly from 1999 to 2012. However, this trend began to change in 2012. From 2012 to 2018, there was an increase in prevalence in this population.

"While this latter trend of increasing vision impairment prevalence from 2012 to 2018 did not reach statistical significance, it could be an early warning that trends in vision impairment among those with diabetes are headed in the wrong direction," Lundeen said. "These findings are worth noting because they suggest that declines in vision impairment among adults with diabetes seen in the first decade of the century may have ended around 2012. A number of factors could influence these findings, such as changes in glycemic management among those with diabetes or changes in vision screening or health care utilization in this population. Future research exploring these possible causes could help us to better understand these trends and design appropriate interventions."

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In another study, Deborah Ellis, Ph.D., of Wayne State University in Detroit, and colleagues found that racial residential segregation has independent effects on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) among Black youth with type 1 diabetes after controlling for family income and neighborhood adversity.

The authors evaluated the effects of racial residential segregation on the health of Black youth with type 1 diabetes. The study looked at the effects of living in highly segregated neighborhoods on HbA1c, while controlling for factors such as age, insulin delivery method, family income, and other aspects of adversity in the neighborhood. The researchers found that higher levels of racial residential segregation were associated with higher HbA1c even after controlling for family income and neighborhood adversity.

"The study demonstrates the influence of social determinants of health on health outcomes in youth of color with type 1 diabetes," Ellis said. "It shows the importance for health care providers to ask about and address factors that affect youths' diabetes health beyond daily diabetes management."

One author disclosed financial ties to Boehringer Ingelheim.

Abstract No. 569-P

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