3rd Diabetes “Branchentreff” Meeting – Challenges of the National Diabetes Strategy

Despite all achievements and progress in the treatment of diabetes, our health system faces major challenges in view of demographic trends. Sustainable approaches are needed for health promotion and disease prevention. At the third diabetes “Branchentreff” meeting on September 28, 2015 in Berlin, representatives from research, organizations and the political arena presented the current state of diabetes care in Germany and pointed out where action is needed.

DZD scientist Prof. Dr. Andreas Fritsche, head of the Department of Nutritional Medicine and Prevention at Tübingen University Hospital, discussed in his lecture meaningful ways for expanding early detection and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Taking sub-phenotypes into consideration and developing personalized approaches play an important role here. In the Prediabetes Lifestyle Intervention Study (PLIS) – a multicenter study of the DZD – this concept is already being implemented. The intensive individual monitoring and support of the patients is being met with great interest.

Other issues discussed at the event were when there will be a national diabetes plan in Germany, and what this shall include. Sixteen countries in the EU already have a diabetes plan.

The CDU politician Michael Hennrich, who specializes in health policy, said that the main objectives of the diabetes plans in other European countries are research about diabetes care, national aid for the regions, prevention and early diagnosis. In his opinion, Germany could compete very well in some of these fields. Hennrich announced that a nationwide diabetes strategy would be launched with state-specific diabetes plans in compliance with the federal structures.

Dr. Christa Scheidt-Nave of the Robert Koch Institute discussed the plans for a Diabetes Surveillance, which shall be funded by the Federal Ministry of Health. This “surveillance” of diabetes incidence and the consequences of diabetes in Germany is important in order to improve the care of diabetes patients. Here collaboration also exists with epidemiologists in the DZD, as Dr. Scheidt-Nave mentioned.

The research initiatives for diabetes prevention and care are necessary to stem the rising incidence of diabetes and to remedy the deficits in diabetes care, said Professor Baptist Gallwitz, president of the German Diabetes Society of the DZD partner Tübingen University Hospital.