Major international diabetes conference held in DCU
Professor Harry Holthofer, senior researcher in DCU's National Centre for Sensor Research is to host a major international conference on diabetes-related kidney problems on Friday and Saturday this week.
Professor Harry Holthofer, medical doctor in the field of immunology and senior researcher, said, "It is well established that diabetes can lead to eye, skin and neurological problems. However, international research is still struggling with the most serious and prevalent complication of diabetes - kidney disease".
"Two thirds of all diabetics will develop progressive kidney involvement during their course of the disease. A substantial part of them will ultimately require kidney replacement therapy, including dialysis and ultimately kidney replacement along with medication. With the constant increase in the numbers suffering from diabetes worldwide, a disturbing aspect is the number of ever-younger patients developing diabetes, and the earlier need for kidney replacement therapies. The need for these therapies is much higher than the healthcare systems can provide. Another major problem facing society is the estimated 60% of people who are unaware that they are pre-diabetic", he said.
"An estimated 8% of the State's healthcare costs are spent on diabetes, and of that, 70-80% is focused on treating complications, especially kidney disease. The aim of the conference is to look at ways of reducing these costs, primarily through new scientific discoveries, prevention and public awareness", he added.
The conference is bringing together international experts in the field of diabetes and diabetic kidney diseases, from Europe, the US and China. A number of delegates are from Finland, which has the highest incidence of diabetes in the world and is also a world-leader in diabetes research, treatment, screening and successful prevention programs.
"This is an important event for Ireland, as it is the first time that this group of over 150 international expert researchers in the field of diabetes and its severe complications are meeting here in Ireland, to raise awareness of this issue", said Professor Holthofer.