• 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]

United Arab Emirates, Dubai : 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 15th and 16th 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 globally1.

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 patients.”

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, Lebanon.

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. 


About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that improve the lives of humans and animals. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. Around 52,000 employees serve more than 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com

About type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common life-long condition causing the blood sugar (glucose levels) to rise, which results in tiredness and excessive thirst among other symptoms, along with the potential risk of negatively affecting the eyes, kidneys, and heart[10].

About cardio-renal-metabolic conditions

The cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic systems are interconnected, and share many of the same risk factors and pathological pathways along the disease continuum. Dysfunction in one may contribute to dysfunction of the others, resulting in progression of interconnected diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney disease, which in turn leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular death. Conversely, improvements in one system can lead to positive effects throughout the others[11],[12],[13].

Through our research and treatments, our goal is to support people’s health, restoring the balance between the interconnected cardio-renal-metabolic systems and reducing their risk of serious complications. As part of our commitment to those whose health is jeopardized by cardio-renal-metabolic conditions, we will continue embracing a multidisciplinary approach towards care and focusing our resources on filling treatment gaps.

For more information, please contact:
Hazar Alzaki
Head of Communications, Public and Government Affairs
Middle East, Turkey and Africa
Boehringer Ingelheim 
Email: hazar.alzaki@boehringer-ingelheim.com   
Feda Kassem
Associate Director
GCI Health Middle East
Email: feda.kassem@gcihealth.com   

[1] GBD 2015 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators. Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016; 388(10053):1459–544.

[2] Thomas MC. Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Failure: Challenges and Solutions. Curr Cardiol Rev. 2016;12(3):249–55.

[3] Sarafidis PA, Whaley-Connell A, Sowers JR, et al. Cardiometabolic Syndrome and Chronic Kidney Disease: What Is the Link? J Cardiometab Syndr. 2006;1:58–65.

[4] members, R., Africa, M. and MENA, D., 2021. Diabetes in MENA. [online] Idf.org. Available at: <https://www.idf.org/our-network/regions-members/middle-east-and-north-africa/diabetes-in-mena.html> [Accessed 27 September 2021].

[5] 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7945692/> [Accessed 3 October 2021].

[6] Winocour PH. Diabetes and chronic kidney disease: an increasingly common multi‐morbid disease in need of a paradigm shift in care. Diabetic Medicine. 2018;35(3):300–5

[7] Aguilar D. Heart Failure, Diabetes Mellitus, and Chronic kidney Disease A Clinical Conundrum. Circulation. 2016;9(7): e003316.

[8] United States Renal Data System, USRDS 2012 Annual data report: Atlas of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in the United States, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2012. Available online at: http://www.usrds.org/reference.htm. See Appendix I, United States Renal Data System (USRDS). Last accessed October 2020.

[9] Siemens Healthineers. Chronic kidney disease: a global crisis. Available online at: https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/en-uk/news/chronic-kidney-disease.html. Last accessed October 2020

[10] nhs.uk. 2021. Type 2 diabetes. [online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/> [Accessed 3 June 2021].

[11] García-Donaire JA, Ruilope LM. Cardiovascular and Renal Links along the Cardiorenal Continuum. Int J Nephrol. 2011;2011:975782.

[12] Leon BM, Maddox TM. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Epidemiology, biological mechanisms, treatment recommendations and future research. World J Diabetes. 2015;6(13):1246–58.

[13] Thomas M, Cooper M, Zimmet P. Changing epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus and associated chronic kidney disease. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2015;12:73–81.

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