ISPAD+APEG 2015 - A President's View



Dear ISPAD member,

Brisbane was a very special meeting for ISPAD as those of you that participated could experience. It was ISPAD’s 41st meeting, so it was not an important anniversary, but the first meeting that we organized together with another society. It has been a challenging journey from when the idea first was born a couple of years ago, but now that we have experienced the meeting we can say that holding it together with APEG (Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group) has been a huge success.

Dana Dabelea and Eva Örtqvist opened the scientific sessions by speaking on the “Burden, presentations and course of pediatric diabetes” and “Early tight control”. Dana took us through lessons from the SEARCH that was designed to estimate the prevalence, incidence and clinical presentation of diabetes in youth age < 20 years.  Between 2001 and 2009 the prevalence of T1D in youth increased by 21.1%, and the prevalence of T2D increased by 30.5%. Many youth with diabetes are at risk for acute and subclinical chronic complications, with the greatest risk in racial/ethnic minorities and those with T2D.

Eva elaborated on the theme that glycemic control during the childhood years of diabetes predicts outcome in adult age, and how the use of national diabetes registries can help improve the outcome. Different aspects of successful strategies on a national, clinic/diabetes team-based and individual level were presented and discussed, as well as difficulties and pitfalls facing the striving patients/families and diabetes teams.  She showed that intensive diabetes treatment involves several more features than the more apparent use of new technical diabetes devices such as advanced insulin pumps and CGM.

Although we meet to take part of the scientific presentations, ISPAD meetings are very much about connecting with friends and colleagues to exchange ideas on treatment, projects and research in the area of pediatric diabetes. We had specific networking stations for non-physician attendees, which was very much appreciated. The opening ceremony was a fascinating combination of traditional and modern performances.

The program gave us new insights and inspirations every day, presented by skillful and experienced lecturers. It was a well balanced mix between basic science and clinical topics, often in parallel symposia to address our different types of attendees. New ideas and findings were presented during the oral sessions, and there was a lot of discussion in front of the poster boards. Advocacy, education and research are the three pillars that our organization is based on, and all were represented when important work with children and adolescents with diabetes was displayed.

A full report of the highlights at the meeting will be done by the Roving reporters led by Sabine Hofer and David Maahs, and will be presented on our website as well as in a summarized form in Pediatric Diabetes. At the meeting with the Advisory Council, we discussed expanding the age group of ISPAD into “Young Adults”, changing focus slightly to include also young people above age 18.

We had discussions with many delegates on the new ISPAD initiative to join SWEET in an international registry for benchmarking both with smaller (< 150 patients) and larger centers.  By comparing yourself with other centers, a very good discussion can arise within your local center, and you can begin pushing towards a lower HbA1c with whatever resources you have available. Send an email to me at if your clinic is interested in joining.

Our motto is simple: “A better world for children with diabetes”. Together we can strive to make good care available to children with diabetes around the world, at the same time as we are promoting spearhead research and technology to improve the life for all children and adolescents with diabetes. For this to come true, ISPAD needs the feedback and collaboration of everyone working in the field of pediatric diabetes. So please feel free to contact me personally or start a new thread at our forum for discussion at With our new President-elect Joseph Wolfsdorf and Secretary General-elect David Maahs onboard, as well as our new treasurer Andrea Scaramuzza, we have an exciting year ahead of us.

Best regards,





Ragnar Hanas, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
The Sahlgrenska Academy
University of Gothenburg

Consultant Pediatrician
Department of Pediatrics
NU Hospital Group, Uddevalla

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