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Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Summit: A Rich Learning Opportunity for Providers

In Cleveland and Baton Rouge Sept. 26-27

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Death rates from cardiovascular disease declined steadily in the United States beginning in the 1950s, thanks to smoking cessation and new medications and treatments for obstructed coronary arteries.

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But the progress spurred by those advances has stalled in the last decade with the concomitant rise of obesity and diabetes rates. Deaths from cardiovascular disease have declined by only 4% since 2011, after falling more than 70% during the previous 60 years. And cardiac-related deaths in middle-aged Americans are increasing.

Those disturbing trends will be discussed by Steven Nissen, MD, Chief Academic Officer of Cleveland Clinic’s Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute, at the Cleveland Clinic and Pennington Biomedical Research Center 14th Annual Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Summit, which takes place Sept. 26-27, 2019. Dr. Nissen, who contributed to a recent Wall Street Journal article on the topic, will give a keynote talk on how obesity threatens decades of progress in reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease.

It’s in line with the summit’s new name and expanded focus. After more than a decade of shining a spotlight on obesity, the annual conference is now also dedicated to examining the evaluation, prevention and treatment of comorbidities.

“Obesity is always at the center, but we’ll have an additional focus on diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Leslie Heinberg, PhD, a co-Director of the CME-certified event and Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Enterprise Weight Management Center.

A collaboration of experts

After years as a co-sponsor of the summit, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University will be partnering with Cleveland Clinic on the event for the first time. The idea is to pair the clinical strengths of Cleveland Clinic in areas such as cardiology, endocrinology, and bariatrics, with faculty from Pennington Biomedical, one of the world’s leading obesity research institutes.

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“By combining the expertise of those two entities, we’re presenting a unique program meant to educate clinicians, including medical doctors, nurses, psychologists and dieticians, in the latest on the science and treatment of obesity and its comorbidities,” Dr. Heinberg says.

The summit will take place in two locations, the InterContinental Hotel and Bank of America Conference Center in Cleveland and the Pennington Biomedical campus in Baton Rouge, with attendees able to participate in sessions at both locations via simulcast.

Summit features of note

The summit is organized around seven topical areas: basic science; diabetes and obesity treatment with lifestyle, diet and exercise; comorbidities; medical treatment of obesity and diabetes; surgical treatment of obesity and diabetes; the economics and policy of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease; and patient-centered treatment. Workshops will allow attendees in-depth opportunities to learn more about innovative solutions and new strategies for disease management and intervention.

According to Dr. Heinberg, highlights on this year’s agenda include:

  • Hot Diets: Ketogenic Diet. Jeff Voltek, PhD, RD, a professor of Human Sciences at Ohio State University, will separate fact from fiction on the trendy keto diet and discuss whether it is appropriate for the prevention and treatment of obesity.
  • Plant-based Approach to Long-term Sustainable Weight and Health Cooking Demonstration. Ann Esselstyn, MEd, and Jane Esselstyn, RN, co-authors of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, will demonstrate how to prepare heart-healthy recipes. “They show how this plant-based diet can be delicious as well as beneficial,” Dr. Heinberg says.
  • Ins and Outs of Drug Treatment for Obesity and Diabetes. A panel of experts will discuss new medication options. For convenience, the workshop will be offered in two time slots.
  • Behavioral Interventions for Obesity. Psychologists Ninoska Peterson, PhD, and Kasey Goodpaster, PhD, will lead a workshop on behavioral modification strategies for obese patients.
  • Diabetes and Obesity Pharmacology Roundtable. An expert panel on medical treatments for obesity and diabetes will discuss how best to use medications to treat patients in a 20-minute question-and-answer session.
  • Stigma and Healthcare Policy for Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease. National Center for Weight and Wellness Director Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, will speak on the issue of weight stigma, and Stewart Gordon, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Louisiana Healthcare Connections, will discuss the payers’ perspective on utilizing population health
  • Personal Weight Loss Journey. This moderated panel discussion features two patients who underwent bariatric surgery and two who experienced dietary weight loss. They will discuss their journey, the bias and stigma of obesity, and their struggles getting adequate treatment and insurance coverage — a perspective that is important for clinicians to hear.
  • Case-based Lessons. A panel including physicians, a surgeon, a psychologist and a dietician will review real-life patient cases and give their take on the best approach.

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“To make an impact in the lives of patients with diabetes and heart disease, we really need to manage obesity,” Dr. Heinberg says. “The best approach is usually a multidisciplinary approach, and when we have experts in all these disciplines working together, we can have an enormous impact on patients’ lives, their quality of life, and even their life expectancy.”

The 14th Annual Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Summit will be held Sept. 26-27, 2019, at the InterContinental Hotel and Bank of America Conference Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Register here. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Follow the summit on Twitter before and during the meetings with #Obesity19 and #DOCS19.

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