Leading Healthcare Experts Highlight Importance of Multidisciplinary Treatment Approach at ‘2021 Regional Interchange on Diabetes’

Leading Healthcare Experts Highlight Importance of Multidisciplinary Treatment  Approach at ‘2021 Regional Interchange on Diabetes’

Over 300 nephrologists, endocrinologists, internists, diabetologists and cardiologists
from across the Middle East and Africa met at the two-day conference organized by
Boehringer Ingelheim
 The interconnected nature of cardio, renal and metabolic systems require a
multidisciplinary approach to manage and treat patients with type 2 diabetes as an
underlying risk factor
 Cardio-renal-metabolic (‘CRM’) conditions are the leading cause of death worldwide,
accounting for up to 20 million deaths annually 1
Tunis, 25 October 2021: Leading healthcare professionals from across the Middle East and
Africa highlighted the need for healthcare professionals to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to
managing type 2 diabetes at the ‘2021 Regional Interchange on Diabetes (‘RID’)’ conference.
Organized by Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, the
event was held on October 15 th and 16 th at the Hilton Dubai Hotel in Al Habtoor City. Over 300
specialists convened to discuss the latest solutions and guidelines on managing type 2 diabetes
and the challenges that link cardio-renal-metabolic (‘CRM’) conditions.
People with type 2 diabetes have a high burden of comorbidities and risk factors, which include
heart failure, kidney disease, hypertension, and obesity 2 . The interconnected nature of the
cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic systems means that they share many of the same risk
factors and pathological pathways along the disease continuum 3 . Carefully balancing these
systems is vital to treatment as dysfunction in one may contribute to dysfunction of the others,
resulting in disease progression.
CRM conditions affect more than a billion people worldwide and account for up to 20 million
deaths annually making it the leading cause of death globally 1 .
Mohammed Al-Tawil, Regional Managing Director and Head of Human Pharma at
Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said, “In the Middle East and North
Africa region, the prevalence of diabetes is at 55 million adults and is set to double by 2045 4 . At
Boehringer Ingelheim, we are committed to improving the health and quality of life of people
living with this highly prevalent disease and its associated conditions. Building on our history of
leadership, compelling research programs, and strong collaboration with the medical
community, we continue to develop solutions that offer integrated, multi-organ benefits for
patients with type 2 diabetes. The Regional Interchange on Diabetes is one of the many forums
we host that bring together international and regional experts to discuss the latest developments
and medical expertise with the aim to improve clinical practice and transform the lives of our
The conference was led by international speakers; Dr. José R. González-Juanatey, Director of
the Cardiology Department at University Hospital, Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Dr. Marc
Lyndon Evans, Consultant Diabetologist in the United Kingdom, and Professor Merlin
Thomas, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Professor and Program Leader at the Department
of Diabetes, Monash University in Australia. The sessions were moderated by leading
specialists from the region; Professor Yehia Ghanim, Head of Internal Medicine and Diabetes

and Metabolism at the University of Alexandria, Egypt, Professor Hani Sabbour, Consultant
Cardiologist, United Arab Emirates, and Professor Ali Abu Alfa, MD, Professor of Medicine
and Head of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at American University of Beirut,
Professor Yehia Ghanim said, “People with diabetes are at major risk of developing
complications within the cardio, renal and metabolic systems. Type 2 diabetes particularly,
requires an early and comprehensive approach that not only addresses hyperglycaemia and
cardiovascular risk factors in the short term but also reduces the overall risk of disease
progression and associated cardiovascular and kidney complications in the long term. An
important way to do so, besides diet and exercise, is by coordinating the treatment of related
comorbidities including the use of emerging medications with broad cardio-renal-metabolic
effects. Events such as the RID conference are important in keeping us updated on these latest
solutions that help boost the efficiency and standard of patient care in the region.”
Professor Hani Sabbour said, “The Middle East has witnessed a growing rate of type 2
diabetes 5 . Patients with this condition are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease
which is also the leading cause of mortality worldwide. A positive and important development in
the treatment of type 2 diabetes is the shift towards the prioritization of cardioprotection. It is
vital to consider the use of cardioprotective type 2 diabetes agents early on, to help reduce the
risk of cardiovascular-related complications. Knowledge-sharing platforms like RID help to shed
light on these latest medical solutions for type 2 diabetes management, particularly in
preventing cardiovascular complications.”

Professor Ali Abu-Alfa said, “The complications and risk factors from type 2 diabetes along
with other associated risk factors such as high blood pressure are serious and can affect
multiple organs such as the heart and the kidneys. For instance, 37 percent of adults with
diabetes have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease 6 , 7 , while approximately three-
quarters of cases of end-stage kidney disease can be attributed to diabetes or hypertension 8 , 9 .
Access to the latest information and guidelines on how to best manage patients with type 2
diabetes with heart or kidney complications is vital to the medical community. Initiatives such as
the RID conference make this possible.”

RID was accredited by the British Academy for Continuous Medical Education (BACME), and
the American Association of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). In addition to the forum,
Boehringer Ingelheim hosts virtual, interactive CME sessions throughout the year that focus on
sharing insights and best practices on type 2 diabetes management in the region.

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