What is your presentation about?
Social determinants of health – including structural racism, socioeconomic deprivation, food insecurity, and insurance status – are critical, but often overlooked, risk factors for severe hypoglycemia that must be recognized and addressed if we are to reduce the burden of hypoglycemia in the management of diabetes. In this presentation, I discuss the evidence for racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in hypoglycemia risk among people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes; call for broader recognition of social determinants of hypoglycemia risk, including the structural factors that contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care and health outcomes; and suggest practice and policy solutions to reduce the burden of hypoglycemia in highest risk communities and populations.
What makes this topic important in 2022?
Social determinants of health are foundational to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. There is increasing recognition of the barriers that social determinants of health – particularly structural racism and socioeconomic deprivation – pose to optimal health care and health, and the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgency with which they need to be acknowledged, understood, and addressed.
How did you become involved with this area of diabetes research or care?
Hypoglycemia is a common, serious, and preventable complication of diabetes management. While the most commonly cited risk factors for severe hypoglycemia are clinical, social determinants of health play a key role in increasing the susceptibility to and risk of harm from hypoglycemic events. I am passionate about identifying these modifiable risk factors for hypoglycemia, understanding the structural factors that drive them, and developing practice and policy solutions to reduce their burden on people living with diabetes.
What are you most looking forward to at the 82nd Scientific Sessions?
I am very excited to reconnect with my colleagues, forge new friendships and collaborations, and learn from investigators all over the world.