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ADA 2021 Symposia Focus on Health Disparities Exposed and Deepened by COVID-19 Pandemic


Leading international diabetes researchers and clinicians will use the ADA's 81st annual Scientific Sessions as an ideal classroom to examine pandemic impact on diverse populations with diabetes.

The deep roots of health disparities and disparities in access to US health care were laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and the topic is the focus of numerous sessions at the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) virtual 81st Scientific Sessions, taking place June 25–29, 2021.

Presentations and scientific posters will highlight the latest understanding of how to address the vast inequities uncovered since March of 2020.

These expert discussions come at a time when 76% of Americans currently living in poverty are people of color. Research has found that diabetes prevalence is inversely related to household income level, with the poorest communities seeing the highest rates.

In fact, Black Americans and Latinos are more than 50% likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic white Americans and Black Americans with diabetes are more likely than white Americans with diabetes to receive care at lower-performing health care facilities.

“We can’t improve the health of all Americans without first addressing health inequities in our health care system,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the ADA in a press statement. “It’s crucial that we take a groundwater approach to solving these problems so that the solutions are both sustainable and effective. We have an obligation to dismantle these inequities and eliminate the devastating impact they have on families and communities.

“I look forward to the discussion of the real problems AND the solutions during our Scientific Sessions to help share key learnings and set the groundwork for how we treat patients moving forward.”

The topics to be covered mirror the impact of the pandemic and include exploration of social determinants of health, lessons learned from the increased use of remote monitoring, and the effects of the rapid and extensive uptake of telemedicine among people with diabetes.

Following is just a sampling of the many sessions on Health Equity to be presented. There will also be an exclusive press event on Monday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET to discuss links between COVID-19 and diabetes.

The event will feature initial results from two studies that were part of $1 million investment in research projects investigating the link between COVID-19 and diabetes. Learn more about the event or register.

SATURDAY, JUNE 26, 8:00–10 a.m. ET
Symposium: Including Social Determinants of Health in Diabetes Care
Chair: Marshall Chin, MD, MPH

• Understanding and Addressing Food Insecurity in Diabetes Management
• Effects of Housing Insecurity
• Effects of Neighborhood and Built Environment
• Effects of Structural Violence

SUNDAY, JUNE 27, 4:30–6:30 p.m. ET
Symposium: Remote Monitoring and Use of Telehealth—Lessons Learned from a Pandemic Presenter: Lindsay S. Mayberry, PhD

• Can Remote Monitoring and Interventions Lessen Health Disparities in Diverse Ethnic/Racial Communities?

MONDAY, JUNE 28, 8:00–10:00 a.m. ET

Symposium: Surgical Considerations in Diabetes Foot Management
Presenter: Foluso Fakorede, MD

• Racial Disparities in Amputation Outcomes—Making the Difference

There is still time to register for the 81st Scientific Sessions; visit the official Registration Information page for more details.

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