This year‘s German Diabetes Congress took place in Berlin on May 17-20, 2023 and was attended by about 6,500 participants. The conference programme focused on many aspects of diabetes and its complications with a particular focus on novel developments in the field of precision medicine, thus reflecting the heterogeneity of people with diabetes and the approaches to prevent and treat diabetes.
One of the symposia was again organised by CEDA and highlighted the topic “Diabetes mellitus as a complication“. Session chairs were Professor Péter Kempler (Budapest, Hungary; CEDA President) and Professor Michael Roden (Düsseldorf, Germany).
Professor Katarzyna Cyranka (Krakow, Poland) started the session with her talk on diabetes and psychiatric diseases. She emphasised the impact of diabetes on mental health and the importance of psychosocial care to address diabetes distress and burnout. Treatment should be based on shared decision-making integrating both metabolic/physical treatment and consideration of psychological aspects.
Professor Massimiliano Caprio (Rome, Italy) discussed the link between corticosteroid therapy on diabetes. Glucocorticoid receptor activation within multiple tissues results in inter-organ crosstalk that increases hepatic glucose production and inhibits peripheral glucose uptake. However, treatment protocols for optimal management of the metabolic adverse effects are lacking or underutilized
Dr. Sofiya Gancheva (Düsseldorf, Germany) presented updates in the field of diabetes and endocrine diseases. In the first part of her talk, she summarised briefly the recent discussion on the search for a more appropriate name for diabetes insipidus. The new name of diabetes insipidus, arginine vasopressin deficiency (AVP-D) or resistance (AVP-R) better reflects the condition’s underlying pathophysiology and should help protect patients’ lives and reduce confusion about the condition. The second part addressed conflicting data regarding the association between GLP-1 receptor agonists and thyroid cancer. It should be noted that thyroid cancer is a rare outcome and the potential increase in absolute risk for humans is very small. However, people with individual or family history of medullary thyroid cancer oder multiple endocrine neoplasia 2 (MEN 2) should not be treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists. The third section provided novel data on the role of the growth hormone system for metabolic changes after bariatric surgery.
In the final talk, Professor Thomas Stulnig (Vienna, Austria) discussed the relevance of diabetes in people with congenital diseases.These include genetic forms of diabetes such as maturity-onset diabetes in the young (MODY), mitochondrial diabetes and diabetes due to mutations in the insulin receptor gene but also diabetes as comorbidity of hereditary haemochromatosis and cystic fibrosis among many other conditions. These diabetes types should receive more attention in the current development towards precision diabetology.
CEDA thanks the German Diabetes Association (DDG) for the opportunity to organise CEDA symposia at the Diabetes Congress, and we are looking forward to future joint scientific discussions.
Prof. Dr. Christian Herder