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The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Annual Meeting, May 14-18, 2008

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists' 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists' 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress convened May 14 to 18, in Orlando, Fla., and included a record-breaking 1,600 attendees. Designed to provide practicing endocrinologists with relevant clinical information, the conference included sessions on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the management of endocrinologic neoplasms, the association of osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency, and issues in the management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes was a major focus of the conference. A special symposium brought together a panel of experts to consider the implications of recent clinical trials on glycemic control, such as ACCORD, ADVANCE and VADT for the future of diabetes care. "There's a lot of information out there that's confusing for patients," commented the symposium's chair, Etie Moghissi, M.D. "As experts in diabetes care, it is the endocrinologists' job to make sure the patients have the facts."

Faramarz Ismail-Beigi, an investigator in the ACCORD study, summarized the session's purpose: "This symposium is an attempt to summarize what we hope to learn in the next few months from several ongoing glycemia management trials focused on the prevention of cardiovascular disease," he explained. "Discussing these studies will be beneficial for the medical community and the diabetes patients they treat."

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Additional sessions dedicated to diabetes focused on the relationship between insulin resistance and atherosclerosis and the cardiovascular effects of diabetes. In his talk entitled, "Diabetes: A Cardiac Condition," AACE member David S.H. Bell detailed the heightened risk of heart disease seen in diabetics related to underlying insulin resistance, lipid problems, poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension. "If you have type 2 diabetes, you are at increased risk of heart disease, twofold if you are male, fourfold if you are female," he noted. "I am trying to have endocrinologists not just regard diabetes as a metabolic condition, but also as a cardiac condition," he explained.

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One interesting session addressed the role of alternative medicine in the practice of endocrinology. "A justifiable argument can be made for alternative treatment in some situations," explained endocrinologist Marc R. Blackman, M.D. "However, it is important to note that what is natural isn't always good." Blackman went on to discuss the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration action against companies producing bio-identical hormone replacements therapies that had made medically unsupported claims about the safety and efficacy of their products.

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The conference also included sessions focused on improving patient safety and quality. A keynote address given by Janet M. Corrigan, Ph.D., MBD President and CEO of the National Quality Forum, discussed key initiatives in the national agenda for improving patient safety and quality. "In the last 10 to 15 years, there have been modest improvements in the realm of quality measurements and reporting," commented Corrigan. "However, we need to look at raising the bar."

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Another speaker, Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, discussed trends and issues in the patient safety movement. "Last year, $2.3 trillion was spent on health care, but quality treatment wasn't close to equaling that," explained Clancy in a statement. "All of the attention the system is getting today gives us an opportunity to do something about this -- to ensure that we are improving the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care for all Americans."

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AACE: Aggressively Replace Vitamin D in Osteoporosis

MONDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is very common among patients with osteoporosis, even among those who are taking daily vitamin D supplements, suggesting that an aggressive vitamin D replacement strategy is needed, according to research presented this week at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress held in Orlando, Fla.

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AACE: Jury Still Out on Health Benefits of Red Wine

MONDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine that has been hailed for health benefits such as cardioprotection and glucose-lowering ability, may block glucose uptake in certain vital organs, according to research presented this week at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress in Orlando, Fla.

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AACE: Islet Cell Transplants for Type 1 Diabetes Promising

FRIDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with type 1 diabetes who undergo islet cell transplant have near-normalization of metabolic control and fewer episodes of hypoglycemia, according to research presented this week at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress held in Orlando, Fla.

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