Media Advisory - Diabetes conference draws international experts to Vancouver, October 24 to 27, 2007

    TORONTO, Oct. 18 /CNW/ -

    What:   More than 100 Canadian and international experts will present the
            latest advances in diabetes research, prevention and management
            at the 11th annual professional conference of the
            Canadian Diabetes Association and the Canadian Society of
            Endocrinology and Metabolism to over 2,500 delegates.

    Where:  Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, 200-999 Canada Place,
            Vancouver, British Columbia

    When:   October 24 to 27, 2007

    Why:    The Canadian Diabetes Association and the Canadian Society of
            Endocrinology and Metabolism brings together more than
            2,500 diabetes clinicians, researchers and educators from across
            Canada and around the world to share their knowledge, ideas and
            experiences in diabetes.

    Select conference highlights include:

    Changing diabetes: A worldwide perspective (Thursday, October 25)

    With the passage of the United Nations Resolution on diabetes, the
disease has achieved remarkable recognition and is now a world health and
economic challenge. Hear renowned diabetes expert and past president of the
American Diabetes Association, Dr. Frank Vinicor, position the current
landscape of diabetes by examining the past 50 years and looking ahead to
challenges over the next two decades. Dr. Vinicor will present seven areas of
conflicts, including examining the challenging question of: should we place
more emphasis on care versus prevention? Dr. Vinicor opens the conference by
addressing several questions, including: where is the new epicentre for
diabetes? Is diabetes two diseases? Should we think of diabetes as a single
entity or is it more closely linked to other chronic conditions such as
obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease?

    Obesity: Whose responsibility is it? (Thursday, October 25)

    It is impossible to read a newspaper nowadays without coming across an
article on increasing rates of obesity. An increasing number of organizations,
interest groups, and government officials have put forward proposals for
dealing with this epidemic. Hear a lively debate on whether governments should
create and implement public policy to curb obesity or if individuals should
bear the costs their lifestyle choices impose on others as a direct incentive
to lose weight. Dr. Kim Raine, Director and Professor of the Centre for Health
Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton,
will argue societal intervention while Nadeem Esmail, Director of Health
System Performance Studies and Manager of the Alberta Policy Research Centre
at The Fraser Institute will argue for individual responsibility.

    Critical role of beta cells (Friday, October 26)

    Whether it is regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells or conducting
transplants from one person to another, North American researchers continue to
lead the way in better understanding the critical role that beta cells play in
the complexities of diabetes. Delivering the Banting and Best Plenary Lecture,
Dr. Steven Kahn (Seattle, WA) will outline the relationship between insulin
sensitivity and insulin release and how this determines glucose tolerance and
the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Enjoying healthy foods and meals away from home (Friday, October 26)

    The percentage of food dollars spent on snacks and meals eaten away from
home is dramatically rising. To help people prevent or delay the onset of
diabetes or its complications by providing tips on making healthy food and
beverage choices wherever they may be, the Canadian Diabetes Association's
Nutrition Education Resource Development Committee has developed a new
resource: "Eating Away From Home: Tips for making healthy choices." Kerry
Schubert-Mackey, a registered dietitian and co-chair of this committee will
demonstrate how this interactive tool can be used to help Canadians eat well
when away from home. Registered Dietitian Patricia Chuey, another speaker at
this symposium, will also address nutritional issues in the prevention and
management of diabetes.

    Vitamin D: A D-lightful health story (Friday, October 26)

    It's been estimated that 30 to 50 per cent of children and adults
worldwide are at risk of a deficient supply of vitamin D, the sunshine
vitamin. Such a deficiency has been linked to type 1 diabetes, and other
autoimmune diseases, cancer risk, infectious disease and hypertension. In his
lecture, Dr. Michael Holick (Boston, MA) will help us understand the role of
vitamin D, identify signals about vitamin D levels in patients and offer an
understanding of strategies for the treatment and prevention of vitamin D
deficiency. He will also review the Institute of Medicine's adequate intake
recommendations for vitamin D and the recent literature that suggests a much
higher level of vitamin D intake is required to satisfy the body's needs.

    Confronting complexity: From pathways to populations (Friday, October 26)

    Today's increased caloric intake, coupled with decreased levels of
physical activity is connected with changes in our social and physical
environments. Over the past few decades, simple diet and exercise approaches
have generally ignored the complexity of the food and physical activity
environment. Hear Dr. Diane Finegood, Scientific Director of the Canadian
Institute of Health Research's Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes
shed light on the complexities of overweight and obesity ranging from
biological to social-cultural determinants, and help understand how the
science of complex systems can be used to shift the way we think about obesity
research, policy and practice.

    Walking on the treadmill or driving to the pharmacist: Preventing
    type 2 diabetes (Friday, October 26)

    The ever-increasing prevalence of diabetes is imposing a major stress on
the healthcare system. A number of studies have now demonstrated that both
lifestyle modification programs and pharmacological interventions in subjects
with pre-diabetes - impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting
glucose (IFG) - can prevent or delay the development of diabetes. On the other
hand, several studies have now confirmed that lifestyle modifications,
including a weight-reducing diet and an exercise program, are effective in
preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes in high risk population with
pre-diabetes. Hear two Canadian experts, Dr. Jean-Louis Chaisson (Montreal,
QC) and Dr. Ron Sigal, (Calgary, AB) face-off in a debate over whether type 2
diabetes is best prevented through lifestyle modification or pharmacotherapy.

    Clinical laboratory vs. national newsroom: The TZDs discussion
    (Friday, October 26)

    In one corner, scientific evidence about the drug rosiglitazone and
methodology behind clinical studies of thiazolidinediones; in the opposite
corner, a media frenzy surrounding an article published on May 27, 2007 that
generated a flurry of activity in headlines around the world and contributed
to uncertainty among patients. Every medication has risks and benefits, but at
what point does the scale tip too far in one direction to cause the biggest
debate of the year in the diabetes community? Don't miss the discussion of
this hot topic lecture, facilitated by Dr. Hertzel Gerstein (Hamilton, ON)
with panelists Dr. Stewart Harris (London, ON), Dr. David Fitchett (Toronto,
ON), and Dr. Jean-Francois Yale (Montreal, QC).

    Diabesity: Connecting obesity and diabetes in children and youth
    (Saturday, October 27)

    Over the last three decades, there has been a three- to four-fold
increase in childhood obesity rates in the US. Presently, 17 per cent of
American children are obese and this has lead to an increase in the number of
children developing type 2 diabetes. In pediatric clinics across the US, there
has been a ten-fold increase in incident cases of type 2 diabetes over the
last 10 years. Hear internationally-recognized expert on diabetes and obesity,
Dr. Francine Kaufman, director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center
and Head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles shed light on this new term 'diabesity' and
speak to prevention strategies relating to lifestyle modifications that
benefit the patient and their entire family.

    Delivering new guidelines for gestational diabetes (Saturday, October 27)

    Pregnancy is a time of hope and joy for many women; however it can also
be associated with some elevated blood sugar levels, leading to the diagnosis
of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). GDM, is defined as glucose intolerance
with its first onset or recognition during pregnancy. Approximately 3.5 per
cent of women, and up to 18 per cent of Aboriginal women will develop GDM. It
may be harmful to the baby and identifies women at high risk for later
diabetes. Dr. Edmond Ryan, of the University of Alberta, will address some of
the controversies over the diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

    Pre-publication highlights of CPGs (Saturday, October 27)

    In May 2008, the Canadian Diabetes Association will release the 2008
version of the evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention
and Management of Diabetes in Canada. This session, through a series of case
studies, will discuss selected, revised, and new chapters of the document.
Presentations will focus on the areas of: the definition, classification and
diagnosis of diabetes; type 1 and 2 diabetes in children and adolescents;
targets for glycemic control; pharmacologic therapy for type 2 diabetes; and
cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The session will be chaired by
Dr. Vincent Woo (Winnipeg, MB), Chair of the 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines
Revision process.

    The Canadian Diabetes Association works to prevent diabetes and improve
the quality of life for those affected, through research, education, service
and advocacy. With a presence in more than 150 communities, the
Canadian Diabetes Association's strong network of assistance includes
volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals and partners.

    View the full conference agenda at

    The CDA/CSEM Professional Conference would not be possible without the
assistance of GlaxoSmithKline, sanofi aventis, Merck Frosst, Merck Frosst
Schering Pharmaceuticals

For further information:

For further information: or to set up an advance interview with a
conference speaker under embargo: Whitney Binns, Julia Alter, Edelman, Tel:
(416) 979-1120, E-mail:; Onsite: Jeremy Brace,
Canadian Diabetes Association, Tel: (416) 988-8327

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